The Things They Carried

What I brought with me as I arrived home (not including what I was wearing at the time): Drylite Microtowel, radio, headphones, microphone, flashlight, scarf, travel umbrella, winter hat, batteries, 35 liter backpack, drybag, plastic soda bottle filled with tap water, bag lock, two plastic forks, laptop computer, long johns (sorry, “base layers”), razors, hotel shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, toothbrush cover, tweezers, soap in a soap dish, small toiletries bag, jacket, spare pair of glasses, bathing suit, three tee shirts, shorts, dress shoes, pants, USB drive, two power converters, dress, sweater, skirt, metal food container with lid and handle, underthings, and four pairs of socks.

Mister Chen’s list:
Shanghai laundry soap
Toiletry bag:
Dental floss from Beijing
Toothpaste – Japan
Blue razor – US
Orange razor – Budapest ?
Hand sanitizer – from dorothy’s mom
Colgate shaving cream – US
6 bandaids – US
Canker sore medicine – triamcinolone
2 advils – US
Hair scissors – Beijing
Ear plugs – US
Hotel soap – Moscow
Nail clip scissors – US
Shampoo – from US
Gray blazer – Japan
Winter hat – Beijing Walmart
Thermos – Beijing
Paper bag of Jasmine tea – Beijing Walmart
Video Camera – US
Cunard Leather Pocket Folio
Cowboy Shirt – US
Brown Pants – US
Unrefrigerated Cheese from France
Black Swimming Trunks – US
Metal Bowl w/ detachable handle – Beijing vendor
Anna Karenina – Beijing book store
Old Time Advertising Book – used book store, Tokyo
Granola Bar – Winn Dixie Supermarket Fort Lauderdale
Powdered cat nip – Tokyo
Blue Collared Polo Shirt – US
3 Pairs of sox
1 Ralph Lauren undies
1 Hanes undies
1 Fukanglai Undies – Beijing Walmart
Cat Shirt – US
Long thermal pants – US
Long thermal top – US
Macbook White 13″ – US
Waicom Drawing Tablet – US
Waicom Drawing Tablet Pen – US
Around the World on Trains T-Shirt – Taipei Taiwan
3-Piece 4 Button Suit – Custom tailored Beijing
1 Pink Dress Shirt – Custom Tailored Beijing
1 White Striped Dress Shirt – Custom Tailored Beijing
Toilet Paper – Ulan Bator
6 packets of tea – 4 from Queen Mary 2 and 2 from somewhere else maybe Ukraine
2 packets of instant Cappuccino from Split Croatia
1 disposable Chopsticks from Japan
4 Popeners from Roma
1 London Library Card
1 Cunard Pen
1 Brown Pen from Krakow
1 Bag Lock from Taipei Taiwan
4 mini DV cassettes
Hotel Receipt from Moscow Hotel
1 Wrapper for Griskisticks – Split Croatia
1 Packet of Tissue Paper from Train in Ukraine to Krakow
1 Adaptor
Sea Shells from Asaki in Tokunoshima
Dental floss – empty – from US
Queen Mary 2 ID Card
1 Eraser from Taipei Taiwan
Ticket Receipt for Train from Rome to Paris
1 Scrap Paper with Du-Du’s email address – Taipei Taiwan
1 Scrap Paper with Eryn and Tony’s email addresses -Taipei Taiwan
1 Receipt/commemorative card to historic bell tower in Split Croatia
1 Receipt/commemorative card to church attached to the bell tower
1 bottle of unused prescription antibiotics – for the runs –
1 Empty bottle of water – Italy
Peanut Butter from Winn Dixie Fort Lauderdale

15 Comments on "The Things They Carried"

  1. I was about to be very impressed by the 35-litre rucksack, but you haven’t said how big Mr. Chen’s was.

    By the way I am apparently one of eight people who subscribe to your RSS in Newsgator Online. If any of the other seven are reading – represent!

  2. I am one of 46 who subscribe to it in Bloglines. you are popular Dorothy
    And I am taking notes for my next overseas trip.

  3. Mister Chen and I had identical backpacks. Which means we had the essential identical backpacks conversation – is it dorkier to have identical backpacks in the same color or to have identical backpacks in different colors?

  4. What did you decide about maching or clashing colors, I never noticed in the photos.
    & I didn’t mean write a book, just collect the posts you made here.
    I did a 30 days by train accross Canada & back via US, I totally understand the importance of trips without a point.

  5. Fie to your bloglines and your newsgators. I read verysmallarray the way we did back in the old country, by clicking on a bookmark. None of these newfangled “RSS” shenanigans for me; that’s the devil’s work.

  6. I think it’s highly dependent on the make and cost of the backpack, but I’m not sure exactly how. If it’s an obscure very high-tech looking Swedish brand you can probably get away with anything. At the other end of the spectrum there’s lo-fi hipsterness (which is cool, obviously) but there’s also a Foreign Language Student aesthetic which needs to be avoided at all costs. Mind you, not being in a group of 30+ helps here, as does eschewing fluorescent colours.

    In between these extremes there’s North Face which you obviously don’t want to be seen dead in, matching or otherwise :-)

  7. Wow, I… I was going to say matching colors is slightly dorkier, but after that last comment I realize I’m way out of my element here, so maybe you should disregard my input.

  8. “1 Pink Dress Shirt – Custom Tailored Beijing”
    Custom tailored to Mr. Chen?

  9. We ended up with Arc Teryx bags, which were great, but they don’t seem to sell that model any longer.

    Yes, the shirts were tailored for Mister Chen.

  10. Dang it, I miss read it (several times) as “1 Pink Dress – Custom Tailored Beijing. How did I do that?

  11. Hi Dorothy, I just finished reading your circumnavigation blog and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it (and everything else you do)!

    I didn’t see it before the trip entries, but how did you two decide to take this trip? Was it a spur-of-the-moment thing followed by months of complicated planning? Was it a fun trip and something you would do again?

  12. We were ready to travel and I love a concept. Our decision to make the trip took the space of a dinner and the planning took five months.

    If I had some other concept that would allow me to travel I would be out the door tomorrow.

  13. Thanks for the response! Your meticulous planning really shows; that seems like one of the hardest things ever to organize.

    Have you ever thought of going to Antarctica? There’s a company here in Denver that staffs for the NSF Antarctic Program. They’re only temporary assignments (four to six months), but if you could fill one of their positions it’s a paid trip to a very exotic locale…and you could draw and blog from there :-) I don’t work for them or anything, but I always thought it would have been neat to go.

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