stuff I acquired, and stuff I left behind

Updated December 23, 2015
I left Denver with a big yellow suitcase and a blue computer backpack. They were both loaded nearly to the max. For Qantas, “the max” means that the checked luggage (my yellow suitcase) can’t exceed 23 kg, and the carry on (my blue backpack) can’t exceed 7 kg). They were at 22 and 7, respectively. I measured. I even threw stuff out a couple nights before we left so I could get under the weight limit. That’s why I left America without dress pants, and with only one long sleeved shirt.
From a clothes perspective, the biggest challenge is the extremes in weather. In the same “vacation” we’re spending a few days in nearly-freezing rain and wind on the South Island of New Zealand, but we’re also spending a few weeks right at the equator. For hot weather and humidity, I want clothes that are light and dry fast. For cold weather, I want thick warm layers.
But there are other non-clothes items that I’m sure are just going to get ejected from my kit along the way. So I decided to make a little journal of it. I’m not counting food or toiletries or stuff like that. Just bigger stuff.
Here’s what got added or removed along the way:

New South Wales, Australia

+ blue jeans from Target in Sydney
+ blue thick cotton sweatshirt from Target in Sydney
– “You Are Here” book, given to Australian Red Cross

Queensland, Australia

+ GoPro floating handle with wrist strap
+ sunglasses (“sunnies”)
+ Australia tourist hat for 2.99 AUD

North Island, New Zealand

+ cheap knit cap that covers the ears, sold at the cheap Chinese stuff store
+ guide book on Cambodia
+ guide book on Indonesia
+ two laminated maps
– two bottles of Flonase, empty pill bottle, lip balm
Stuff I Left Behind - 1 of 3
Hmm, so far, I’m acquiring more than I’m leaving behind. This has to change. These are steps in the wrong direction. Stay tuned…

South Island, New Zealand

I got rid of a lot of stuff the night before we flew from Christchurch to Indonesia. Some things I had brought from America thinking I would use them at some point, but haven’t. Others were things I acquired along the way that I knew I wouldn’t need in the tropics.
Beth got rid of some things, too, and we filled up a large plastic bag that our AirBnB host said he would donate to charity for us. After that, my big suitcase closed a lot easier and weight noticeably less. That made me happy.
– blue jeans from Target in Sydney
– blue thick cotton sweatshirt from Target in Sydney
– Goorin hat, sad to see this go but it keeps blowing off in high wind
– cheap knit cap that covers the ears, sold at the cheap Chinese stuff store
– playing cards I bought at a yard sale in Denver earlier this year
– travel domino set that I’d owned for years and never used
– swim goggles, used only twice during my adult swim lessons
– micro USB cable, one of a few that I have
– misc printed things including my D&D 5e character from Sydney (Professor Jazz Hands)
– red checked cotton shirt from REI
– olive shorts that I convinced myself I don’t need because I have another pair of shorts and a swim suit
– 1 pair underwear (I brought more than I need)
– 2 pairs short socks (I brought more than I need)
– Panasonic incandescent headlamp, owned for years but bulky

Stuff I Left Behind - 2 of 3

Here’s all the stuff I had been carrying that I left in Christchurch

Stuff I Left Behind - 3 of 3

Between Beth and me, we filled up this large shopping bag with things to donate to charity

Java, Indonesia

+ pair of red sandals with Javanese batik pattern

Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia

(all I got in Kalimantan was diarrhea)

Bali, Indonesia

+ pair of blue sandals with New Balance logo (almost certainly NB knock-offs, given the price and location)
+ pair of flip flop style sandals, very padded soles
+ cotton batik button-up shirt

Batik style is actually Javanese, but I bought the shirt on Bali

Batik style is actually Javanese, but I bought the shirt on Bali

Luzon, Philippines

+ 2 bottles of pills shipped at great expense from North Carolina to Angeles City in the Philippines
– Indonesian guide book (in English), map of Bali, and fantasy novel all given to Bob LaRue to find new owners for
– pair of red sandals with batik pattern (lasted only two islands)

My batik sandals finally blew out at a Filipino cultural center dance performance

I wore the heel and big toe area nearly through within just a week or two, but they finally blew out at a Filipino cultural center dance performance

+ nice leather sandals, cost 1800 pesos
+ Nike (knock-off, probably) hat, cost 130 pesos
+ box and assorted blister packs of prescription medicine
– RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Port, with 4 carabiners for hanging
– BØRN shoes (size 11.5, replaceable on Zappos)
– Indonesian phrase book I borrowed from a coworker; I’ll buy him a new used copy from Amazon when I get back to America
– BLU cell phone charger base and clear case


– Australia tourist hat for 2.99 AUD, acquired in Queensland (see above, worn in 4 countries)
+2 fiction books – The Bangkok 8 and Dreamthief’s Daughter
+1 DVD (a gift)

Bangkok, Thailand

+ thin Thai cookbook from our cooking class
+ iPhone 6s
+ iPhone 6s case
– Thai/English dictionary
– Nancy Chandler’s map of Bangkok
– Nancy Chandler’s map of Khao San and Old Bangkok
– Groovy Map N Guide Cambodia
The Bangkok 8 in trade paperback format


+ booklet from Tuol Sleng (the Phnom Penh Genocide Museum)

Kansas City, USA

This wasn’t supposed to be a stop on our journey, but it was. I went from Thailand, where the temperatures range between 80 and 90 ?, to Kansas City, where temperatures range between 28 and 60 ?. That required some wardrobe changes. Also, I didn’t have anything worthy of wearing to a funeral service. So here is what I added:

+ Børn shoes, Wrangler blue jeans, long sleeve green shirt, green sweater, khaki slacks

The flip side is that I got rid of a lot. I took advantage of low postal service rates (compared to sending things from Asia to America) to ship all this stuff to my parents’ house in Colorado, where they’ll hold on to it until I can pick it up next year sometime.

– iPad, keyboard/case, and Thunderbolt cable
– Amazon Fire TV Stick – I actually did use this one time, to watch a movie in my hotel in Siem Reap
– iPhone 6 box
– Roller Derby Photographers Group challenge coin
– steel cable for locking luggage to something
– hairbrush (I don’t have enough hair to bother)
– RØDE lavalier microphone, RØDE shotgun microphone, and extra rubber bands
– two different mini tripods for my camera
– pack of S-biners
– combination lock
– key lock
– pile of papers – souvenirs, the thin Thai cookbook, a bookmark my niece made for me, etc.
– BLU Studio Energy smart phone (Android), one of my worst ideas of 2015
– JT (Jersey Telecom) SIM card and quick reference, tied to international calling plan
– USB extension cable
– USB to Micro USB cable, for BLU phone
– USB to Mini USB cable, for GoPro that I lost in Bali
– USB to Thunderbolt cable, for iPad
– spare SD cards, for GoPro that I lost in Bali
– nylon strap
– small sock that I used to store my GoPro in

Delhi, India

(nothing new acquired in Delhi except Delhi Belly and a bad attitude toward Indian auto-rickshaw drivers)

Agra, India

(also nothing new here)

Jaipur, India

+ 2 custom tailored long sleeve shirts (the purple one is shown below under Chandigarh)
+ 1 custom tailored trousers (also shown below)
+ Micromax X2411 mobile phone
+ Airtel SIM card
+ souvenir block printing (that I helped make)

Amritsar, India

(no change)

Chandigarh, India

+ reversible vest, made nearby in Punjab (shown here with trousers and shirt from Jaipur)

clothes - 1
– one pair of Wickers underwear that was just too tattered to sew up

underwear - 1

4 thoughts on “stuff I acquired, and stuff I left behind

  1. Jennifer Cates

    Icebreaker is an excellent choice for travelling. It packs small, resists odors, is either very warm or keeps you cool and is easy to layer. It is, however, expensive. I live in the stuff whether I’m kayak guiding, camping, shopping in Vancouver or going out to a party. The stuff ROCKS.

    1. todd Post author

      Jennifer, when we were in Kaikoura, New Zealand, the gift shop of the Albatross Encounter / Dolphin Encounter had a ton of Icebreaker clothes, ranging from underwear to sweaters and pants. I couldn’t afford any of it, but did appreciate the chutzpah of someone who makes such good underwear they can sell it for 150 bucks.

  2. todd Post author

    I just updated this with the latest set of stuff that I’m getting rid of in the Philippines, by giving it to our friend Bob. He’ll keep some for himself and hopefully find good new owners for the rest. He knows a lot of people here.


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