What To Take
Above all be flexible, even the best-laid plans will change … but that’s part of the fun!
What to take
Whilst what to take travelling varies depending on where you are going, when you are going and what you will be doing, there are some basic requirements for every trip.
The clothes you will choose to take depend upon both the countries you will visit and the activities you will be doing. It is also worth bearing in mind that even on a placement in one country, you will need clothes for lots of different occasions. For example, in one month in Cambodia I went to a Cambodian wedding, taught English, swimming and sport at a school, was eating out at restaurants, drinking in bars, and spending weekends both on the beach and in the jungle.
I would therefore recommend a basic set of clothes that are both versatile and lightweight; clothes that dry fast and don’t crease easily are a bonus!
Remember that the countries you are going to will sell clothes too, (probably at a better quality you find at home for less money) so it makes more sense to take a set of basic smart clothes and add to it, rather than having to carry around your entire wardrobe for months … less is definitely more when you have to carry it on your back!
Colour wise, as nice as white looks, bear in mind that it gets dirty easily (especially in hot, dusty countries). It’s also worth bearing in mind that dark colours attract mosquitoes. However, whilst I would advocate practical clothes, it’s also worth taking a few colourful, pretty items too, because wearing the same few things can get surprisingly boring.
It’s also a good idea to take local cultural and religious attitudes to clothing into consideration. For example, in Cambodia only prostitutes wear short skirts and show their midriff. It is therefore understandable that a western girl dressed like that will receive unwanted and unnecessary hassle. It’s a simple matter of respect and being aware of what kind of attention you attract.
Naomi Cartwright Jan 2009 (Cont)