Note: This blog was written in April 2015 while in Thailand.
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I'm dripping in sweat. It's ONLY about 105-degrees I'm guessing...
Two roller suitcases (one broken) drag behind me down a long shaky dock. Over one bump... then another... And another. My back is aching now from my 50+ pound back pack and last night's not-so-sound sleep on an old train.
This island I'm stepping onto named Koh Tao is absolutely breathtaking and oh so perfect! As I weave through the other pushy travelers, I want to literally leave my bags behind and jump into the turquoise water below. But I decide to keep moving with the thought of an ice cold beer in the forefront of my mind. After all, I am beating Ryan (who I'm hoping is still behind me)!
I finally make it to the end of the dock only to find.. a whole lot of sand. Hmmm, no wonder every single person I passed had only backpacks and duffle bags. With all the strength I have left, I haul ass through the thick white sand! Thankfully I see a man holding a sign that reads, "Coral Grand Resort". Hallelujah!
I finally see Ryan in the distance catching up. We give each other identical looks of exhaustion. Just when I think we can chill for a minute, our group begins to walk.
One of my roller suitcases doesn't roll anymore, and I am now dragging two broken suitcases. They weren't exactly made for beach trekking. In frustration, I look at Ryan and dramatically say, "This is the worst vacation I've been on in my entire life."
Okay before you read the list below, we had a good reason for taking so much stuff. We packed a lot of stuff because we were actually MOVING to Taiwan. We thought it'd be a good idea to stop and vacation in Thailand for a few weeks on the way.
What we brought:
+1 duffle bag (this I wasn't planning on until my packing crisis)
+1 large purse
+Ryan's 2 suitcases
+Ryan's small duffle bag
= 7 BAGS!!
I know what you're thinking, who brings 7-bags along an island hoping adventure through Thailand? Apparently we do.
Not smart and the biggest travel mistake EVER!
Packing light may seem obvious, but you really don't realize how much you overpacked until you're standing on that dock, sweaty and exhausted, ready to jump off! I could have went without some luxuries like my electric toothbrush, high heels, and nearly my entire jewelry collection lol. Lesson learned.
If you are trying to vacation while moving abroad for a while (as we were), a better idea is to have family ship a few boxes to your new home once settled. Totally worth the extra shipping costs to fully enjoy your vacation and you will still save money on flights this way. That is assuming your vacation destination is conviently on the way to your final destination.
Stuff is replaceable; being young, jobless, and homeless in Thailand is priceless! Yesterday I went diving for the first time and swam with hundreds of exotic fish and one very cute turtle. In that moment, the luggage hassle was all worth it. Next time of course, we're packing light!
Thank you so much for reading. I wrote the blog while in Thailand one year ago. Since then I have taken more trips around Asia and I've gotten MUCH better at packing light!
Your trip will be immensely more enjoyable if you pack light. Nowadays no matter where you go in the world you're not too far from a 7-11 or shopping mall that has everything you may have forgotten. I have never regretted under-packing and having to buy a few things on my trip. But over-packing can add so much unnecessary stress to your "vacation". With that said...
My #1 Traveling Tip: Whether you're seeking a relaxing vacation or a fun adventure, it's always better to under-pack than to over-pack.
This is ESPECIALLY true if your goal is to explore several destinations in Thailand. Expect to transfer your stuff several times on and off small boats and carry it across sandy hot beaches. Not everywhere you go in Thailand, but some of the places. Less stuff is just so much more freeing. One large back pack is all you need in Thailand.
Happy traveling :)