INTRODUCTION TO SITE ETHOS! ENJOY YOURSELF!
This, what seems a rather quaint original section when I first started this blog, is a little reminder of how easy it is to still travel with a tiny case. It’s vital to know this is the only way to do it if you want to travel solo unimpeded by checking your shit in. Apart from not knowing what the hell is going on with banking, this is basically all still valid. Good luck my old birds with poking those beaks out into the world again.
I have added bits being older and wiser now, so as to fill in the gaps I left in 2018. See my idea behind my rantings!
EXTREME COLD…..as on the Trans Siberian Express!
This was the hardest type of travelling to get right, especially when entering hot places later. Rule of thumb is to travel in your thick and heavy clothes and have your layering clothes in the case. As usual, you will carry your precious things, laptop, IPad and batteries wires etc, your camera and heavy extras in your rucksack. Normally they want your carry on suitcase to be not over 8 kg. This is MUCH MORE THAN YOU IMAGINE! I had my Russian military coat for that trip, which was superb. Most of the time I only needed a long-sleeved T-shirt underneath and the usual double layer of fleecy leggings. Good quality gloves, thick natural wool socks specialist boots for freezing conditions. Apart from leggings, thermal t-shirts and your underwear a big knitted zipper jacket with a fleece lining. Some thin t-shirts and a cotton shirt and trousers for the train which is super hot. All clothing should be easily put on and taken off in layers. The boots should be able to slip on if you leave the laces loosely tied. Take a light smart shirt and trousers in case you do fancy a night out, ( It’ll never happen you’ll be too knackered ) and trainers. Flip flops are handy for the train and hotter places you go later. Finally your hat, your lovely warm furry hat. My ushanka saved my face in Siberia one day when the wind chill went down to -40.
My heavenly time in Russia and Mongolia was due to my very clever packing of thermals and Russian coat and boots!
COLD CLIMATE PACKING LIST.
- long windproof warm coat
- 1 hooded zipper cardigan jacket with fleece lining
- specialist boots
- ushanka and good gloves
- 5 varied thermal and non-thermal t-shirts
- 3 pairs of furry leggings and 2 pairs of loose trousers
- loose light tracksuit bottoms and top for the train cabin lounging
- very light posh top and thin trousers for evening wear
- smart trainers
- 2 sports bras and 5 pairs of pants
- Medical kit. Pain killers, Lemsips, eye drops, nasal spray, plasters, a good supply of any medications you’re on and multivitamins. See your doctor before the trip for a medical consult.
On all my trips I take my trusty IPad and laptop on which I do all my bookings and watch downloaded films and listen to audiobooks.
ALERT! YOUR BUMBAG WILL HAVE YOUR PASSPORT AND ANY IMPORTANT PAPERS, YOUR PURSE WITH SOME FOREIGN CURRENCY AND EMERGENCY MONEY, YOUR PHONE AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, YOUR DEBIT OR CREDIT CARDS. YOU MUST INFORM YOUR BANK AS TO WHERE YOU’RE GOING AND FOR HOW LONG SO THEY DON’T CANCEL YOUR CARD WHILST YOU’RE AWAY. THE ATM IS YOUR MAIN FRIEND ABROAD!
OVER AND OUT FROM IVAN THE TERRIBLE REBECCA
CHANGING FROM A COLD TO A HOT CLIMATE.
Although going from winter in Russia and China, my travelling down to summery humid Vietnam was a rude awakening. I gave my boots and jumpers to the girl at the hotel who was very pleased and substituted flip flops and T-shirts in my case. So I was only dragging around my very heavy beautiful antique Russian military coat which was a pain but clearly, no airline can refuse you if you wear it onto the flight. Many a time at the end of my Trans Siberian Express trip I could be seen at the airport boarding, sweating and nearly passing out until safely on the plane where I could shed it and place it in the overhead luggage rack.
They know what you’re up to but can do nothing about it!
EXTREME HEAT… From arid to humid heat and how to cope.
There is an amazing difference in types of heat worldwide. Each has its own challenges. I’ll try to guide you as well as I can in what can be much more trying and exhausting than the cold.
With age comes less resilience to extreme weather conditions. I would suggest joining a gym. Not only do you strengthen your cardiovascular system (you find yourself puffing and lightheaded otherwise), but also your muscles (you’d be surprised at the amount of strength you need in your arms and legs! ) for all the walking swimming and hiking you might want to get involved in. Let’s face it, it’s good for you anyway! And now you have a reason and goal to get in that gym and your local swimming pool.
It’s never too late to do some exercise and improve your eating habits, is it? And now you have the reason, it’ll be so much easier! All-round you being responsible for your travelling will give you the huge benefits of being healthier!
With the heat comes inoculations and malaria tablets if you’re visiting any red zones. Your GP will help you sort this. out. Anyhow your doc will tell you at the same time at your medical, go back for another one before you leave and after your fitness regime, you’ll be delighted with the improvement in your ” M.O.T. ” results!
Alert: I’m off to Colombia next month and needed a yellow fever jab. I nearly forgot and you need it ten days before you travel. It can make you feel a bit poorly too so keep this in mind. You have to pay for it too. It’s around 65 quid!
I have to say here, you don’t have to go great distances, especially if you have health problems. Consult with your doc and go for more modest trips. You will find your limits. The blog I will be publishing on Central Europe will probably be more up your street and so much to do there and easier travel with good infrastructure. BABY STEPS!!!
hot climate packing list
- one pair of knee-length walking shorts and one pair of beach shorts
- 4 t-shirts
- one swimming costume and or bikini
- one pretty skirt for evening ambles
- one large and long cotton shirt for covering up after too much sun or going into religious buildings
- one for the beach which can be left salty
- one evening top
- one cover all loose dress
- bra and undies
- pretty evening shoes and flip flops
- A thin large sarong which can act as a beach towel and cover for religious buildings
Weigh your case and if the weight allows, add extra bits that you feel you’d use. All heavy bits in a small rucksack for under the seat on the plane including your techy stuff and leads, chargers and batteries. your camera (mines an Olympus Tough which is for underwater too. When you’re snorkelling you can shoot stills AND videos.) and a Kindle if you like. Needless to say, you’ll have your liquids bag in there too for inspection at security. Take only small sizes of your favourite creams and perfume and deodorant. pick up the rest when you get there.
What I didn’t mention above was the last part of my trip where I decided to go to central Thailand as I wasn’t ready to go home. Leaving the scorching dry coast at Nha Trang Vietnam and arriving in Ayutthera Thailand was crushing. I could barely breathe with the extremely high humidity.
Gone was Mrs Jaunty-Devil-May-Care. Arrive Mrs Sweat-Pouring-Down-Between-Me-Tits. It is jungle heat without the jungle, it is harsh go-lie-in-your-room-you-big-baby drenching foulness. At both ‘retreats’ I stayed at were beautiful lakes, at both, you could only sit out for half an hour or so even with ice-cold beers!
In summary, less is more and have a wonderful fabulous life wandering the globe! x
OVER AND OUT FROM THE OLD BIRD FOR ALL SEASONS!