I get asked pretty often for travel tricks and tips that aren’t regularly part of the content I create. I wanted to provide an opportunity for readers to fill in the blanks on what it takes to do the sort of cooking and traveling I promote on the site.
There haven’t always been hard truths to travel for me, with my first trips being taken with little more than an old military rucksack and three pairs of clothes. I have learned along the way, adopted different preferences and tactics, and optimized my efforts a bit.
Here is some of the resources I want to pass along:
- Backpack – My backpack of choice is the Osprey Kestrel 48 liter. This bag is top loading, but with front access for ease of use. The zippers are super durable, and the whole bag can minimize to fit in even the smallest Burmese two propeller plane. The included rain cover pulls out and has saved my skin on many occasions. You might have to use dental floss to secure it if your on a motorcycle in the Western Thai mountains though. I always load mine only half way full to start a trip, including a collapsable duffel bag to check on my return if desired. This gives me the option to bring tons of stuff back with me!
- Camera – I have tried a few camera setups in a short time, and even with all of the research I had done, still ended up returning a couple of my initial choices. I started with some lens upgrades to my existing iphone. That just wasn’t professional enough for my intended uses. Perhaps if I were a personal blogger and nice saturated images weren’t super important to me that would’ve worked. I then moved to a Canon dslr. I chose the SL2 with a pancake 25mm prime lens. While I loved this cameras small profile and the crisp images, it struggled too much to focus when hand held, and the finish began to peel off. I finally went with the Panasonic Lumix GX8. I love the style of it, resembling a vintage 60’s camera, of which I’m a collector. The autofocus in handheld mode when paired with the 12-35mm micro 4/3rds lens is exceptional. My only gripe is the smaller microphone input jack, which bumps the articulating screen and mandates an adapter for my Rode mic. Another essential piece of kit, pick up the ultra-portable Zomei Z699C carbon fiber travel tripod.
- Offline map – City Maps 2 Go is a great one for getting you around with seamless navigation in places where you may not have internet. Just download the maps of place you plan to go, and use the app to save any points of interest for your trip.
- Travel resources –
- Maipo Valley Wine Tours – This travel group out of Santiago, Chile is absolutely fantastic for curating unforgettable experiences in and around the many vineyards across Maipo Valley. From horseback rides to straight up cowboy barbecues, they’ve got it covered, with world-class wine pairings of course. Check out their website at www.maipo.travel and email email@example.com to book your own unique adventure!
- Travel Hacking by Nomadic Matt – Matt Kepnes book The Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking is amazing for navigating the confusing world of frequent flyer programs and travel card incentives to basically get you traveling for free in no time.
- Travelfish – Head to travelfish.com for all things Southeast Asia. From guesthouse recommendations to food and transport, everything is here to load your offline map with options before hitting your next destination.
- Recommended reading – Okay this is more a matter of personal taste, however this is my current reading rotation. I stay inspired by reading books from authors who have lived or travelled in or around my points of interest.
- Beauty Is A Wound – by Eka Kurniawan – This haunting Indonesian epic follows a family curse through three generations, punctuated by political and domestic upheaval.
- Under The Volcano – by Malcolm Lowry – Follow an alcoholic through the pit of despair, while soaking in the beautiful vistas around Oaxaca, Mexico. This is a great trouble in paradise piece.
- The Quiet American – by Graham Greene – With colonial Vietnam as a backdrop, this novel follows the end of an age of decadence in Saigon, with a love tension which builds between the walls of both the Hotel Continental and The Majestic, both institutions still functioning hotels in Ho Chi Minh!