I am a pretty awesome packer. I don’t mean I pack light or I roll up all my t-shirts. I mean I have thought about a TON of things. One of my best friends still jokes that I am her favorite to travel with, because what she didn’t bring I am sure to have. So true. The downside of this is usually on the amount that I bring. For a weekend trip, I need a large suitcase. Large as in venti folks. I am sure some will roll their eyes at what I pack and use it to talk poorly about my chakras and such. Oh well. I have dealt with some major gut/health problems for almost two decades, so I have it down to a science almost with what I need to be at my best. Also, I like options and in many ways I need them. I never quite know how I am going to feel when I travel, so the options for outfits is a major priority. Lastly, I like to feel at home in a way, which sparks many of my decisions. Maybe it is the home bodied Cancer in me, maybe it is my chakras. Either way, I am into it.
Here’s a breakdown of my must-have favorites as I prepare to leave for 20 days. I am headed into a yoga teacher training, so these picks are geared towards days of yoga schedules and more.
I purchased a new yoga mat for this training. Mostly, because the one I am using now is worn and my feet were slipping a bit. I am not a fan of the back foot slide in warrior 2 people! I bought The Reversible Mat 5mm from lululemon in black. I love a sleek black mat and this one is always so good for hot sweaty yoga. I don’t have to use a towel over it which is a HUGE selling point for my yoga experience. And it is isn’t crazy heavy for the walks to the studio. Amen!
I never thought when I left college that backpacks would come back into my life as they do now. I have almost given up handbags completely. I said almost people! That said, I have yet to find one that meets all of my needs. I have wanted lots of pockets, side area for my water bottle, laptop space and multiple spaces for journals and yoga clothes to be separate. Oh! And, I have been on the search for a bag with all of these qualities that fits high on my back with the straps cinched up. For some reason this is not the norm as most packs give this weird lowrider feel like I am wearing a jean jacket off the shoulder. Ya feel me?
When I was in New York last year I saw all of these kiddos wearing the same brand of backpack. I say kiddos, but they were probably 20 which officially makes me old to use that language. Anyways, I literally googled “hipster backpack”. No joke. BUT, I found the most amazing one for my training. I got the Raven 28 Backpack from Fjallraven in black. Black, what a surprise right?! If I could pronounce the company’s name I would be shouting it like a crazy fan! This pack in amazing. It has all the pockets a girl could ever want and fits perfectly high on my back. It is also the perfect blend of being large without feeling like you are camping into the Mayan ruins with all your tent essentials.
Many of my priorities come down to comfort. This also applies to yoga clothes. I want to be as comfortable as it is possible to prance around in spandex. Let’s be real about that. For leggings, I have found my favorites and preparing for this trip is no different. I decided to stick with what works and re-ordered two of my favs. The Align Pant Full Length 28″ from lululemon is a star in my book. This pant is lightweight, hugs the body WITHOUT feeling like a strait-jacket and high-waisted which is pretty much my dream. Now, I am 5’10” so length is always an issue for me. These reach lovingly towards my ankles, but they don’t do the legging stack at the bottom like Flashdance leg warmers. I think I would need a good 34″ pant for that. It’s all good though!
My second favorite brand in general is Beyond Yoga. Their gear is so soft. Crazy soft I tell you! I re-ordered a pair of their Spacedye Caught In The Midi High Waisted Legging in the darkest night color. Duh. If pajamas had a baby with performance gear this would be the result. I am on board with that all the way.
Let’s talk about underwear. Months ago my best friend sent me a text out of the blue asking if I wore underwear under my yoga pants. I love that she blurts out the real questions like that! We need people in our lives in that way. This sparked quite the discussion with my fellow yogis and my personal research in that group concludes that it is about 50/50. Some ladies love the commando situation. I am NOT one of them. SO, with this trip I stocked up on undies of course. In a day I can easily go through 3-4 due to taking class, teaching etc. Well that adds up! I picked up like 10 pairs of the Logo Thong Panty from Victoria’s Secret and I did get more than just black thank you very much. Like my momma always said when it comes to underwear, “Cotton, cotton, cotton.” These are amazing. Soft, sleek, comfy and they don’t get weird and bumpy underneath yoga leggings.
Last in line for the gear shopping was a new pair of kicks. I love my Birkenstocks, but I wanted something with a bit more support for some long walks. I am a fan of high top Vans, but when I shopped their site I found a new style that piqued my interest. I ended up ordering the Ultrarange AC in Black/True White. They are super light, and a cool cross between the classic Vans and a running shoe. Perfect for training day walks and cruising.
ALL THE DRINKS
While I am not traveling out of the country and will have access to grocery stores I am familiar with, I like to land with a few items that I don’t want to be without. First and always my number one – COFFEE. Right now I am obsessed with Black Oak coffee. I get their Roaster’s Reserve Guatemala. I can usually find this gem of caffeine at Whole Foods. Since I am a french press girl, I will also be traveling with my trusty french press and my electric tea kettle. Let’s stay on beverages and move on to my evening treat. I love hot tea at night. My current favorite is Tulsi Sleep by Organic India. It gives me a gentle relaxing feel and the holy basil is great for my hormone balancing health. What makes this nighttime ritual extra special is the local honey I add from a tea shop in El Dorado Hills, CA. I add the Ginger Turmeric Honey from TeaXotics. Yes, I am traveling with a jar of honey. It is THAT good.
It has been a challenge to find any protein powder that tastes decent and doesn’t make my stomach bloat like a balloon. I feel like I have just about tried them all. So when I found the SunWarrior protein I was beyond stoked. It tastes awesome I feel full but energized after drinking it. I get the Warrior Blend in Chocolate.
I am not a great water consumer. It is so hard to drink plain water and with big days full of movement, I need to nail this hydration gig. So, I am all about electrolyte powder. Not just any ol one though. I LOVE the Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powder in the lemon flavor. It truly tastes like lemonade and the kicker for me is there’s ZERO sugar or artificial flavors. I aim to drink a ton of this so I really don’t want that junk.
THE RANDOM AND AWESOME
I wash my hair every day. Every, every day. I want to be one of those girls who can go several days, but my thin, frizzy, oil filled head says no. Also, it makes me feel gross. BUT, some dry shampoo still exists in my life because with multiple classes a day there isn’t always time for a full refresh. My fav is Detox Dry Shampoo by Drybar. I love the cute travel size, which is perfect for one of my pockets in my mondo backpack :).
A couple months ago I made an effort again towards my skincare. I have some ongoing issues related to hormonal acne and well just being 37, so I ordered some tester products from Marie Veronique and FELL IN LOVE. I really do feel like I could write so much more on this very topic, so I will save that for later. BUT, if you are wanting to give it a shot, try one of their starter kits. The sizes are perfect for travel and they give you a great feel for what they can really do! Bonus, is that the company is based in Berkeley so us Northern Cali folks get shipping real quick.
I also changed up my makeup routine in preparation for this adventure. I was in need of a revamp so it really was perfect timing. My preference is easy. Sure, I love to spend extra time on getting ready for a night out, but those nights are like twice a year. For my daily life I need it to be fast, easy and not look like I have a cake face. I also wanted products that were better for my skin. I opted to try Glossier and I am so glad I did! I use their Lash Slick, Cloud Paint in Puff, Boy Brow in Brown, Stretch Concealer in Medium, and the Haloscope in Quartz. If I am using a tinted moisturizer that day, I use the Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen from Marie Veronique.
Along with my nightly tea ritual, I also do a belly rub. Yes, you read that correctly. And if you haven’t tried this self-care ritual, I would give it a whirl. It is great for digestion and overall calming for my entire system. I feel better when I go to sleep and wake up in the am when I am consistent about doing this. I will be packing the only oil that I use for this which is the Relaxing Abhy Oil to Balance Vata. When travel has been hard on my belly and I am having a hard time getting grounded I will also add using a heating pad before doing the massage.
Once I have my coffee and all the essentials listed above in line, the most sacred items I travel with are my journals. Yes, journals, as in many. I have small ones for mini writing sessions and larger ones that are specific to certain stories I am telling. Anytime I start a new journey or adventure I get a new journal. I believe that certain stories or documenting of life shouldn’t be mixed and shuffled together. I like to give space, even to my stories. Right now, I will be traveling with three journals. The first is a handmade black leather journal that my husband purchased for me on our honeymoon in Carmel. It is from this beautiful store Bittner, which also sells the fanciest pens I have ever seen. My second journal I am taking is from that store too and is made by paperblanks. I love it because it is small and the red and gold cover looks ancient, which makes me feel like I am writing stories worthy of Game Of Thrones. The final journal making this trip is made by Fringe journals. It was a gift from my parents for this adventure. I love gifts like that. They are soaked in special type of love when the gift acknowledges something that a heart needs. Truly the best.
How am I going to pack all of this you ask?
Honestly, not quite sure but I suppose it is time to find out!
Happy packing friends. See you on the flip side!