As I stood over my backpack reviewing what I had decided to take on the 8 month honeymoon, I was not sure that I had made all the right choices.
After a two year engagement we were now husband and wife. Our wedding in Sydney on NYE was wonderful, it was a perfect day filled with love, laughter and joy. It had been the best day of our lives so far and I had a feeling things were only going to get more exciting from this point on.
Images courtesy of Lindy Goodwin
We were setting off on a honeymoon but we were certainly not putting on the Ritz. There were no 5 star resorts on our agenda, we were travelling on a maximum of $100 per day. This was to include accommodation, food, drinks, entertainment, and any sightseeing that we wanted to do. It also included any bus, train or plane flights.
Our odyssey started in Vietnam for 40 days travelling from south to north; a week with friends in Hong Kong; three weeks in China; a week in Barcelona and then just over 4 months in South America. Here we travelled from Rio to Argentina, across to Chile and Patagonia, then flew to Colombia, visited the Amazon and from there caught a boat to Peru. Then Bolivia and finally down Chile to Santiago, where we would fly home – all in 8 months!
We’d sold our car, moved our belongings into a storage unit and quit our jobs. Well, I had wound down business, Jessica Beattie Millinery, and Hubby had actually been made redundant a few months earlier. We were no-strings attached, apart from the rings on our fingers!
All up we had spent around 9 months researching where to go and what to pack. There is a ton of great advice online and we made the most of other’s generous documenting of their own experiences. We meticulously prepared a list of clothes that were for summer and winter conditions and it all weighed a tiny 15kg in my 60Lt pack!
Photos from Jessica’s collection
This is what I packed:
3 x Long Pants: Lightweight cargo pants, loose cotton pants and jeans. According to all the good advice, jeans are a traveller no-no. They are heavy and take too long to dry. However, I live most of my life in jeans and the thought of leaving them behind for some new-age, super-fast drying, micro-weight traveller pants that zip off at the knee just wouldn’t cut the mustard. This, in the end, was a mistake. My advice is to take the daggy-quick-drying-traveller pants. You’ll thank me later.
3 x Short Pants: Leggings, 3/4 loose linen and shorts. Shorts were a mistake … your newly-purchased-super-daggy traveller pants zip off at the knee! However take the leggings for comfort.
1 x Skirt: I’m a girl, I like wearing skirts, I’m bringing one and it’s pretty. I ended up wearing it too.
2 x Dresses: Cotton knee length and maxi dress. Another mistake. They took up room, were heavy to carry, and I only needed one. Take a full-length dress, its perfect for night, and keeps the mozzies away.
8 x T-Shirts: 2 x thermals, 1 x wool & 5 x cotton. It’s a lot but you get SO bored with them and bored seeing yourself in photos! Other blogs have suggested 4 tees but I’m a chick and I like choice.
3 x Long Sleeve: 2 casual (one wool, one cotton) and one shirt.
1 x Black Wool jumper
3 x Jackets: Goose-down Jacket, casual zip-up and a cotton cardigan. My advice, ditch the casual zip up.
10 x Underwear: 4 x bras and 10 x underpants. Most bloggers suggest packing 4 but they don’t take up much space and only taking four pairs means a lot of washing. My advice is to take plenty. We bought more along the way. You can wear clothes more than once, but not underwear! Also getting the right size for your husband can be a challenge in some parts of the world.
3 x Shoes: Hiking/walking shoes, reef shoes and a pair of thongs. The reef shoes were not a good idea. I ended up buying a pair of funky sneakers, because I got sick of always looking like a backpacker!
My luxury items: One husband, a travel hair dryer, a tiny amount of make-up (which I ditched later), and my pillow (no joke, it reduces down to the size of a 2kg bag of flour but weighs a lot less). I got so many raised eyebrows about the pillow, however it was my No.1 item. I used it every day and when we stayed in questionable places it was my only comfort. I sometimes woke to my husband pulling it so he could rest his head on it. I would take it again without question.
What I didn’t pack: The kitchen sink, jewellery, accessories and stuff that I don’t wear at home but think I’ll wear whilst traveling!
Ms Gingham says: I feel like I’m getting ready to go overseas while I’m reading this! It’s the air of anticipation and excitement … I wonder what happens next?
Jessica Beattie says: ” I am a milliner based in Sydney who specialises in custom made headpieces, fascinators and hats for bridal, racewear, special and casual occasions. For my honeymoon, my husband and I packed up our home, quit our jobs, threw a backpack on our backs and went around the world for 8 months. We visited Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Barcelona, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. A trip of a lifetime, lots of stories to tell, lots of wonderful memories”.