For the last 5 months of 2016 I was on the road, in the air, on planes, trains, underground trains, cars and mostly living out of a lightweight suitcase + a backpack + a crossbody travel bag. So I had to minimise my favourite things into portable Every Day Carry (EDC) options; those which would take the least amount of room, be highly functional, be minimalistic but still give me pleasure. When travelling, especially long-term, the key-words are Minamalism + Functional. I would add my personal motto of Yo-No-Bi: Simplicity, Function, Beauty.
This principle is known as yo-no-bi. Common among the older generation of craftsmen in Japan, yo-no-bi consists of two kanji, yo (用) which means use or application, and bi (美) which means beauty. Together they aim to balance the aesthetic and the functional – not only must a technique/item be functional, but it must be pleasing to the eye.
So here I’ve summed up my Favourite On-The-Go EDC things, all true to the principle of Yo-No-Bi, that I ended up carrying with me all over Australia/Hong Kong/UK/Greece for the last half of 2016.
Write It Down
- Hobonichi Weeks [Wallet-Size]
Traveller’s (/Traveler’s – USA) Notebooks aka TNs
- Chic Sparrow (USA)
- Zenkraft Leather Works (USA)
I adore my collection of traveller’s notebooks [Current count = 7] but in 2016, while travelling for 4 months, my constant companions were my hardy Chic Sparrow Maverick Pocket TN + my rustic Zenkraft Appalachian Trail Trifold logbook. These were the two I chose to carry with me. My little Maverick (Water-Buffalo leather) went everywhere with me as my notebook-on-the-go. My gorgeous Zenkraft Appalachian Trail- this leather is stunningly soft and pliable – embraced my journal.
- TWSBI Notebook Small – Blank/Lined/Grid (My preference is the Grid paper option.)
- Moleskine Journals – My preference are the Large Volant 2packs.
My favourite on-the-go fountain pen is designed with an ink shut off valve for easy carry and no mess on airplanes. Although it is a mini fountain pen, because it is a vac filler it holds a large amount of ink so it is both functional and portable. Along with the handy Visconti traveling inkwell, I can travel with these with ease and still have the pleasure of writing with fountain pen.
Archival Ink Pens
- Mitsubishi UniPin Black Fine-liner (My preferred nib is the 0.3mm. – I always carry at least 3 with me.)
- Lihit Lab Pen Case (Yellow-Green / Chocolate Brown)
Devices & Apps
- MacBook 13″ Aluminium 2008 Laptop
This laptop has been my faithful companion for 8 years and is still going strong. But I can no longer update the OS so this year it will be a time for an upgrade. I have decided, after lugging around this MacBook in my backpack through airports, that I need a more portable laptop. So this year I will be downsizing my MacBook 13″ and getting the new 12″ ultra-light MacBook. These (1) + (2) articles had me lusting over the 12″ MacBook. But it was when I went into my local electronics store and tested one out for myself that I was 100% convinced this will be my 2017 laptop. And Yes, I can’t resist that gorgeous rose-gold option.
- Apple iPad Mini
Hands down my favourite on-the-go EDC device. I can write on it, I can communicate on it, I can be entertained AND it is extremely portable.
- Apple iPhone 5c
My favourite mobile phone is actually my Blackberry Storm 9900. But although I took it with me on my travels, it was not playing nice with the different overseas networks. Thankfully I had my backup iPhone which ended up being my main phone.
These ear-phones were a godsend on my ultra-longhaul flights + numerous underground/overground train trips. Excellent audio quality and excellent external noise-cancelling qualities but allow in just enough external ambience noise so that you’re aware of what is happening in your surroundings – vital for travelling.
- Dropbox – My favourite cloud backup.
- Scrivener – Hands down my favourite writing/editing word processing app.
- Swipes – My favourite to-do list app.
- Spotify Premium
Although I have travelled a lot in the past, the longest those trips were, were 1 month. In 2016 my travels were for 5 months. On top of that I travelled from the…
Southern Hemisphere Winter: New Zealand (Home) – to Australia
Northern Hemisphere Summer + Winter: Hong Kong – U.K. – Greece
Southern Hemisphere Summer: New Zealand (Home)
So not only was I crossing hemispheres but I was travelling to countries with vastly different climates to New Zealand’s. So I had to plan both my luggage + wardrobe options very carefully and precisely as well as take into account that I would be changing seasons while on my travels as well. I was also travelling by myself which meant I had to carry everything. If nothing else, this journey made me an even better traveller. With all this in mind, I did my pre-travel research – we writers love any excuse for research – very thoroughly, both on what to pack and what to pack everything in for long term travel. Here is what I ended up with…
- Pacsafe Venturesafe 25l GII Anti-theft Backpack – Blue [Carry-On] [Has a secure laptop compartment too.]
- Pacsafe Venturesafe 200 GII Anti-theft Travel Crossbody Bag – Blue [Great handbag replacement for travelling and has a secure tablet/iPad compartment.]
- An all-direction-rotating-4-wheeler lightweight with extendable pull trolley handle suitcase (The smaller, lighter, more durable the better.)
- Convertible Travel pillow
These PACSAFE bags were two of the best purchases I have ever made. Extremely durable, all-weather-proof, brilliant anti-theft features and the clincher for me, both were extremely comfortable to carry.
Favourite Clothing Items (for longer-term travelling across seasons)
- Black Leather Jacket + black leather gloves
- Kathmandu Isograd All-Weather Waterproof 3-in-1 Jacket
- Skinny Jeans [Day + Night] – In 3 colours, classic distressed blue, classy indigo blue + dressy black.
- 3 * Cotton Cargo Trousers – My preference are the ones that can zip off into shorts.
- Tank tops in multiple colours
- 2 * Boho-inspired maxi-dresses + 2 * maxi-skirts
- Little Black Dress (LBD)
- LED Little Everything Dress – not black, but something that is a colour version of the LBD
- 2 * Pashmina Shawls – Brilliant as knee-blankets, scarves, shawls, replacement cardigan/jumper/jersey
- Monokini Swimming Costume – One-piece swim-wear costume with cutouts + a good beach towel
- Underwear + Socks (Took the basics but ended up buying what more I needed while travelling.)
- Pilates work out pants/top – Triple use as casual day/wear and/or Workout clothing and/or Pjs (sleeping).
- Havaiana Flip-Flops
- Flat-heeled Knee-Length Boots – Tip: make sure your boots’ soles are thick, especially if in Europe/UK cobblestoned streets.
- Platform/Wedge Heeled dress shoes (They look good, are comfortable and good for cobblestoned streets.)
- A good water-resistant pair of running shoes
- A good pair of ankle hiking boots.
Tell me, what are some your Favourite EDC On-The-Go Things?