As you can probably already tell, I have done a lot of traveling this summer (and there’s more to come – it’s only July!). I am preparing to stay put for a whole year (something entirely new!) when I settle in Portland, OR to do AmeriCorps (though I might travel to LA to finish up my Laughing Lotus trainings…I can’t help myself!). Anyways,
In June, I traveled to:
In July and August, I will go to:
Some of these trips (D.C., SF, and PDX) are what I am privileged to refer to as professional trips, or yogi travel – I am going to D.C. to chill with my WesBAM! co-founder and finally meet in person a writer and yoga teacher I have been following virtually for years. SF is for this Laughing Lotus teacher training I couldn’t be looking forward to more (!!!). And Portland, well, there’s are many a yoga reason why I chose that city in particular to live for a year (cue Portlandia theme song).
But I digress. This summer and throughout the past five years, to be honest, I have learned a lot about what it means to prepare for travel and to pack a bag with the specific purpose of having a calm, cool, collected and yogic travel experience.
1. Backpack: I call this Lululemon backpack, which I’ve been using relentlessly for years my “stupid bag” because the labels on the interiors of the pockets actually assume that I am an idiot. There are labels and pockets for: my yoga mat, keys, wallet, passport, wet/dry clothes from hot yoga (literally; this part is mesh), pens, iPad, laptop, and three spaces in total so it’s like 3+ carriers in one. It’s a bag and a detailed packing list all in one!
2. Suitcase: This carry-on Athleta colorful bag also has a yoga mat holder, extra pockets, and a toiletry case inside. It’s super cute and durable and perfect for packing all clothing in (all non-clothing items then go in the Lulu backpack).
4. Podcasts: Nothing says torture like waiting on a huge line at customs, baggage claim, or security. Also, flight delays. It’s times like those, which require some kind of external mental stimulation. Podcasts can do the trick and my favorite are Tranquility du Jour podcasts. During them, Kimberly Wilson, yoga teacher and writer from D.C. who I’m workshopping with, interviews yoga teachers and yoga experts from around the world.
5. Magazines: They’re what airports are famous for, but I prefer to buy mine ahead of time at Whole Foods because airports don’t tend to carry yoga magazines beside Yoga Journal. My favorites are BUST, Bitch, and Mantra Mag.
6. Yoga Outfit: Pack your favorite yoga outfit (the Sweaty Betty above is a brand from the UK that opened up a store in SoHo. Though the photos might not show it, I swear that their clothes are AMAZING for yoga ladies with hips and an ass; there, complete outfits are not at all hard to find!). One that you won’t mind wearing, getting dirty, and then wearing again (if you have sweat-absorbing items, pack those!).
7. Lightweight Yoga Mat: I could not recommend the Manduka EkoLite more; I’ve been using it for a daily practice for years now.
8. Accessories: Pack that headband, hair ties, Satya jewelery…
9. Journal: A necessity. My favorite are the regular-sized Moleskines with graph paper because they’re good for sketching on the go as well. Also, the best time to journal tends to be immediately after a yoga class when all those Shakti Second Chakra juices are already flowing.
10. Travel-Sized Toiletries: Like a journal, these are a necessity and include travel-sized versions of your fave hair products and deodorant. No further explanation needed.