The Next Time I Tromp Through the World…

In general, I am a bargain shopper. Take me to Goodwill or Uptown Cheapskate or just give me your old clothes. I do have one weakness, though, in which I will sacrifice way too much of my last pay check. I really love durable outdoor clothing. It’s the only time I, excuse the pun, buy into the name brand cult. Other people might think I look like an idiot, but I feel cool. I tell the world, “Hey! I’m going off on a grand adventure, and I have the right clothes for it.” What better time to utilize all of my trendy rugged wear – and buy some more of it – than when backpacking in a foreign land like Cambodia?

Northface pants that roll into capris or zip into shorts; another pair of North Face shorts; two Exefficio shirts, one insect repellent, the other quick dry; three pairs of Exefficio underwear; two “quick dry” sports bras; three pairs of socks, two Darn Tough Run/Bike cushion footies, one Smartwool Hiking cushion calf cut; L.L. Bean lightweight UV protective long-sleeved button up; two Nike athletic shorts. And of course, Salomon hiking shoes and the beloved Chacos. I know, I know, it’s silly and ridiculous. It’s just my one fetish. Bite me.

I packed for this trip wanting to use the right gear. I didn’t actually register it in my brain, but subconsciously, I was going to be “intense” about this. Three weeks later, I’ve learned a few things.
 

  • You will want to look normal. Most of the time, in fact, you will not be adventuring. Bring clothes you can wear to restaurants and the beach and not look like you’re about to go on a Safari.
  • If you are surrounded by four beautiful sorority girls, you will begin to want to try to look as good as them. It’s okay to bring makeup and a necklace.
  • Tweezers for the uni-brow that will inevitably grow back are also recommended.
  • Just bring a versatile dress.
  • Sports bras take forever to dry after you wash them in the sink, and they are susceptible to a lingering sour smell. I guess I hadn’t figured this out in the last decade, but they flatten your boobs. When you buy the dress you didn’t bring, you just want a normal bra.
  • You will not want to wash underwear every day. Bring a few more pairs.
  • Contrary to what you thought when you were packing, Chacos do not match everything. The only time Chacos really feel cool is at camp when everyone else is wearing them. Halfway around the world, they start to feel incredibly clunky. Wear flip flops like everyone else. (But still bring the Chacos.)
  • The collapsible tooth brush seems like a good idea. It will do its job and collapse twice a day when you brush your teeth. Bring a normal one.
  • Money belts are dumb, sweaty, and make you feel fat. Be smart with your money and pack a sling over purse.
  • Bring extra contacts and contact cases. You will have eye trouble and feel like a dork wearing glasses 24/7.

There you have it. Apparently I’m a woman who likes my girly comforts after all.

Feeling gross and silly.

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