With the benefit of hindsight including the benefit of learning from past mistakes, we believe we have a pretty good idea of what items are essential to take on your travels and those that are not.
The following are items which we didn’t take last time but, according to the Wooky, have become essential.
(I should add at this stage, that this is being written before any attempt at packing is made and therefore, it is possible that some of these items will not make it into the final pack.)
- Travel hammocks – According to the Wooky these have apparently become “must have” items and I will accept that they are indeed small (therefore earning the “travel” prefix) but I seem to remember hammocks being pretty widely available in tropical paradises. And I am remain unconvinced that a travel hammock will withstand the weight of a Wooky and I’m not allowed to get it out of its tiny bag to inspect it, presumably on the basis that we might never get it back in.
- Dive computers – Firstly, you wouldn’t take a dive computer on your travels if you didn’t do Scuba diving and we hadn’t even considered it before we left which is why they weren’t on our packing list before. However, now that we do dive I do not need convincing how important it is to know how deep you are in the water, how long you have been there, along with how much air you have left, and that all these things are more important than knowing where north is (Paul once dived with an instructor who only had a compass). And so, you would think, a good dive computer is a sound investment and indeed it is if only I knew how to operate it. I am assured that after my online training (!) I will feel less intimated by this powerful computer the size of a watch on which my life will depend while I am exploring beneath the waves once again.
- Wetsuits and facemasks – the Wooky has a tailor made short 3mm wetsuit for the simple reason that he can never find a wetsuit to fit. I also have my own which I wore last time we dived in Donggala (and I am hoping that my waistline and every else hasn’t expanded to such a degree that I won’t be able to squeeze into it). We both have decent face masks too and firmly believe it is worth spending some money on a mask that fits well as it can really affect your diving experience if you are spending half your time clearing your mask and no time watching the fish. These items will take up a relatively large amount of room in our backpacks but the Wooky has just decided to pack fewer pants.
- A proper towel – It doesn’t have to be a luxury sized fluffy white bath towel but it does need to be made of material (preferably towelling material – the clue is in the name) that will actually get you dry when rubbed over your wet body when you leave the shower. These micro towels are all very well but they don’t really work. And if you are staying somewhere basic and the climate is less than tropical it is really quite unpleasant waiting to drip dry in a cold, draughty room. Factor in long hair (which we both have) and it’s a positively unpleasant experience. Bring a proper towel.
- A kindle – I love books. Books are my passion. And if you are staying anywhere for any length of time you can usually get your hands on a proper book and feel the joy of turning the pages but a Kindle (or something similar) is literally worth its weight in gold. If you enjoy reading GET A KINDLE. I downloaded a couple of hundred of books onto my Kindle and read nearly all of them. I also read a quite a few real books along the way as a treat when I could but my Kindle was my best friend. And I have the most basic of Kindles and the battery lasts for about a month.