Since I’ve been back in NYC after being on the road for 15 months, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how I’ve evolved. 3+ years ago I was a hip business professional working for international retailers. I had more shoes, clothes, and handbags than there were days of the year to wear them; my life was about vanity. When I started traveling I had a hard time accepting my new backpacker style. I tried to hang on to my vanity; I had a hair dryer and make-up in my backpack for the first few months…then I just let it go…and it felt great. I know it’s easy for me to say to not pack your hair straightener or makeup or 5 pairs of shoes…but trust me, you will be happier without these things if you are doing long term travel. You may find yourself feeling more free than ever – I did. I got comfortable seeing my face without make-up, my hair without hair products, and flat shoes instead of heels. If you feel like you still want a bit of ‘flash’ when you travel, then I suggest that you add flash to an average outfit by accessorizing – jewelry is small and can be the focal point of an outfit. So are pashminas. Both of these things are plentiful in many developing countries for cheap…so just buy them there and don’t carry them in your bag! Plus, it supports the locals - win/win for everyone!
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