What I Have Learnt About Packing

Did you already see our brand new resource page the Packing List? There you can find a detailed list of what we are carrying with us. There are even some pictures involved. Perfect chance for you to satisfy your inner snoop and see all our stuff.


We had been travelling quite a lot even before starting our nomadic lifestyle and thought we had the art of packing down. Not really, as we found out. I would say we're at the intermediate level now. Travelling with hand luggage only with most carriers, but still logging too much stuff to comfortably carry around for longer time.

In our quest to become ultimate packers, the most drastic reducement has been in the amount of toiletries we carry. We have found many multipurpose items (praise for Sebamed!) and solid options instead of liquids. Travelling carry-on only also restrict the size of any liquid container to 100ml.

Already for about a year we have been total e-book converts. Reading as much as we do (especially me, I'm always buried in a book), it has made a huge difference. No longer there's a need to carry several books with me and try to find a place to change them to something even remotely interesting when read. Now I can carry a whole library with me in a teeny-tiny package. And I do mean a whole library, since our public library in Helsinki has an extensive collection of e-books to lend, no matter where we are in the world. 

We also got rid of the just-in-case items. Surprisingly, there are stores also abroad, if something is desperately needed. Many things can be replaced by less-specific, multifunctional items. Travel pillow? How about just rolling your fleece into a ball instead. Surprisingly comfortable. Need to separate things in your bag? Pack them in a ligh-weight canvas bag, which you can then use as grocery or beach bag.

When we started off in January, we had some quite eccentric things with us. Or what do you think about carrying a gym ball? In a way this was a good idea, since as a digital nomad you end up working in many not-so-ergonomically-perfect conditions. Gym ball helps to relax and exercise your back muscles, and it also functions as a working chair. If only we had used it more than a couple of times. Not much help for aching back when stuck inside our bags.

We also carried along two(!) travel hammocks with us. And guess how many times we used them? Right, none. Many places already had a hammock, or then there wasn't really any good spot for it. Same thing for the mosquito net. If there wasn't one, it was nearly impossible to attach ours.

Our quest goes on. We live, we learn. And get excited whenever we find something small.

What have you learnt about packing?

Antti and Mirje

We are Mirje and Antti, a 30+ digital nomad couple, entrepreneurs with restless feet and passion for experiencing the world. more »