I feel incredibly vulnerable when I’m teaching yoga, as I’m offering my interpretation of an extremely sacred (not to mention ancient) practice.
It’s intimidating as hell.
And, as someone who’s had an ongoing struggle with simply being vulnerable at all- teaching did NOT come easily to me.
A limiting belief I’ve carried with me throughout most aspects of my life of “I’m not good enough,” coupled with the fear of putting myself out there- held me back from offering regular classes for nearly a YEAR after my first YTT.
I would actually black out with fear when I’d get up in front of a class.
I’d go as far as to say I might have even HATED it when I first started.
However, given all the knowledge the practice itself offers us- I decided to strip down my fear, sit with it & understand it a little more.
I realized the root of it was simple:
I’m afraid people won’t like my class.
Once I faced that truth, I realized something pretty dang obvious.
That WILL happen!
There will be plenty of people who will walk into my class once, and then never again.
Not because there’s anything wrong with ME as a person or as a teacher, but simply because it didn’t resonate with them.
It’s the same way that we don’t connect with EVERY person we come in contact throughout life, right?
I had to learn that although I can’t control people’s reactions to what I’m sharing- what I CAN control is the extent to which I show up as an instructor.
For me this means putting genuine energy & thought into creating SAFE & loving sequences.
It means creating, and then holding, a space where people can learn without judgment or fear.
It means leaving my own shit outside, and letting the time be just for the students.
The reality is that even when I show up in these ways, there will be still be people who don’t like it, or don’t return.
And that’s okay.
Because I know i did my best in that moment.
That’s not to say their feedback isn’t valuable, because it certainly is and I always welcome it.
But the reality is that you just can’t please everyone.
All of these feelings have been unearthed again when I accepted the offer to teach on Alo Moves.
This was an opportunity that I actually spent time manifesting into reality for about six months prior to receiving the email from them- so, I’m not saying I wasn’t thrilled.
Because I was.
I was beyond excited.
But I was also beyond afraid.
Being on a platform with so many INCREDIBLE teachers started to excavate that same “I’m not good enough,” mentality, which- in turn- let my fear of not being liked get really loud once again.
When I thought about how my classes were going to be just be out there, on the internet for anyone and everyone to experience, watch…to judge.
This fucking terrified me.
However, given that I’d already gone through this same process as a new teacher, I was able to handle it with the tools I accumulated all those years before.
Rather than letting my fear hold me back from saying YES and showing the hell up- I let it challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone with as much confidence as I could channel.
That’s not to say I wasn’t still scared the first day I stepped onto set.
Because I was.
I was shaking and sweating.
A jumble of nerves.
So, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that I’m capable.
I reminded myself that I poured MONTHS of planning, energy, preparation and LOVE into each class.
I reminded myself that although I’ll undoubtedly make mistakes, I am showing up as my best self in this moment now.
And that’s the most I can do.
I reminded myself that being afraid is okay.
In fact, these nerves are a GOOD thing- whether you’re a brand new teacher, or whether you’re a season vet in the industry.
Because it means you CARE.
Since releasing the classes, I’ve had to remind myself of all this all over again.
Most importantly, I’ve had to remind myself of the notion that I can’t please everyone.
For example, there’s been feedback from one person saying it was the best class they’ve ever taken, and they loved the cues and pace.
Then there's someone who said they thought it was too slow, and confusing
Another who said it was too fast, as they prefer to hold each pose longer.
One person who wrote that they prefer a teacher not to talk so much, while another said they wish I said more.
You get the point.
Again, all of this feedback is absolutely VALUABLE.
I appreciate honesty- always.
The key is taking what works, and leaving the rest.
Imagine if I tried to take it ALL on?
Not only would I be stretched in a million different directions- but I’d have also lost my own authentic voice in the meantime.
And then what?
Well, my classes would likely resonate with even LESS people.
But, more importantly, they wouldn’t even resonate with me- likely leaving me feel unfulfilled, unconfident, and confused.
I remember when I first started teaching- I was still going to studio classes regularly.
This was in California, where there are a TON of killer teachers.
Plus, I have an advanced practice- so I would attend advanced classes with seasoned instructors.
I remember how it seemed to effortless for them- sequencing, cuing, adjusting, demonstrating, including a consistent theme, the music- ALL of it just felt seamless.
And, although the class felt amazing, I’d usually walk away thinking:
How the hell do they do that?!
I’m over here just trying to make sure I remember the whole sequence correctly.
I found it really overwhelming.
Clearly returning to that limiting belief:
“I’m not good enough to do this.”
As I mentioned before, I had to untangle a lot of bull shit mentally in order to step into my personal power and find my voice as a teacher.
I needed to work on flipping my perspective.
Understanding that, sure, that class might’ve seemed perfect- but, guess what?
That teacher also started from the beginning, too!
The difference between them and me wasn’t that they were “better.”
It was the fact that they had TIME and EXPERIENCE under their belts.
And the fact that they believed in themselves.
I’m writing this piece, because I get a lot of new teachers asking me how to begin.
How to conquer their fears.
How to find their voice.
Based on my experience, the advice I want to give to you is this:
Develop a dedicated self-practice (if you haven’t already).
I believe this is crucial, because it helps reveal what YOU want to teach.
Rather than regurgitating other people’s cues and sequences, you’ll experience what YOU’RE excited to share.
FEEL into even the most familiar postures.
This has helped me with my cuing, immensely.
Because, once again, instead of just memorizing and repeating what you’re “supposed” to say- you’re explaining it from YOUR experience.
Get curious about even the most familiar postures.
This goes with the idea of feeling into them.
Shift your weight slightly differently than you might in the most traditional variation, close your eyes, wiggle a little, etc.
Notice what comes up.
Notice what resonates.
Practice on friends, family, and other teachers FIRST.
Practicing your classes on people you trust, and people who trust you creates a safe space for you to learn how to refine your craft BEFORE offering paid classes.
This is purely my opinion, but I just don’t believe most 200 YTT are ready to teach as soon as they graduate.
Especially because most programs are SO condensed now.
I forced my friends and family to take my classes a million and one times (I still do!), so that I could ask them how it felt in their bodies, ask for their feedback, and most importantly- make sure what I create feels safe and accessible.
As someone who’s naturally quite flexible- it’s important for me to get that feedback from people who have different body types.
Sure, it’s okay to have a challenging class- but I also want it to feel ACCESSIBLE with appropriate modifications and adjustments.
Say YES, even when it scares the shit out of you.
Same as most things, the only way you get better is by PRACTICING.
So, even if you don’t feel “ready,” say yes.
It will be SUPER uncomfortable at first (maybe even for weeks or months), but the more you say YES, the easier it will become.
Way easier said than done, right?
Yeah, well this will get easier the more you say YES, and the more confident you get in YOUR practice.
Sometimes it means exuding confidence on the outside, but freaking the fuck out on the inside.
And that’s okay.
At this stage, you will have prepared and practiced your sequence.
And you will be showing up with the intention of offering something heartfelt.
Believe in that.
Believe in your ability.
Share how YOU want to share.
Again, feedback is important- but it’s important to remain true to yourself as you take what works, and leave the rest.
For instance, if someone tells you after class that they didn’t feel warm enough to enter Warrior III that early on in the sequence- that’s something worth considering, right?
Especially because it touches on the SAFETY aspect of the class.
However, if someone tells you they wish you’d talk about more spirituality topics, because your classes feel too physical- then you need to ask yourself if that feels true to what you want to share.
Perhaps you don’t have anything spiritual to offer at the moment.
That doesn’t make you a “bad” teacher.
It just means, maybe your style isn’t compatible for this particular person.
Rather than forcing yourself to speed up your spirituality process in order to be something you’re just NOT yet- let it come organically.
And, remember, maybe this won’t ever be something you’re comfortable sharing when you teach.
Continual study: Stay in the student seat.
The same way our yoga practice is limitless, so is our teaching practice.
We’re never done learning.
And, if you think you have it all figured out- then that’s probably when you need a refresher course the most.
I personally save a chunk of cash every year for a training, immersion, or some sort of continual education.
This doesn’t mean you need to do a destination course or retreat, or something super fancy every year.
Maybe it means you invest in an online module.
Or invest in a 3-day immersion in your hometown.
Yes, self-study is crucial.
But I also think fully sitting in the student seat regularly is very important in order to keep growing.
Remember that we're always evolving.
That being said, your teaching likely will, too.
What you want to offer when you first start out might be COMPLETELY different to what you want to offer in five years.
If you're anything like me, you might have trouble surrendering to this natural ebb and flow- and that's okay.
Just try to become aware of it.
If your practice shifts, embrace it.
Know that it's shifting in that direction for a reason.
In turn, the students who are attracted to you/your style might also change.
Again, that's okay.
As long as you're teaching from that aligned, authentic place- you'll draw in those who resonate.
Whoa- that’s a lot!
But guess what, if I can do it- you sure as hell can.
And that's the point to all of this:
There's no difference between you or I.
One of us is not "better" than the other.
Realize that our different experiences and offerings just mean that, as a whole, we have the chance to reach even MORE people simply by being, and showing up exactly as we are.
There’s a reason you’re on this path of teaching.
So take the time to figure out that reason, figure out what fires you up- and SHARE that with the world.
You’ve got this.
As most of you know, I’ve been struggling with a variety of physical and mental health issues lately- ones which are very heavily linked to one another (but that’s an entire post altogether).
Since being pretty public about these topics, I’ve had so many people (mostly women) reach out to me to let me know they’re going through similar things- or have gone through it before.
In such messages, one of the most common things they write is:
“Thank you for talking about this. I don’t feel like enough people express their struggles. I’ve been dealing with the same feelings lately, and I haven’t known how to get through it.”
After receiving hundreds (literally hundreds) of messages like this, I’ve felt a variety of emotions come up.
Comfort in knowing we’re never truly alone, even if we feel like we are.
Sadness for their pain.
And confidence in my choice to show up authentically through ALL the stages of my life- even if the vulnerability feels a little awkward or embarrassing at the time.
All of that being said, I wanted to share a few tools I’ve leaned into during this “dark period.”
As I’ve reiterated before, I’m not a professional in these areas, in that I don’t have a background or any sort of credentials in psychology, nor health care.
I’m simply sharing a few things that have brought even just a GLIMMER of light into each day, in hopes that you find that same spark yourself if you feel like you’ve lost it, too.
I won’t dwell on this one too long, as it speaks for itself. I put this at the top of the list, because I think turning to a professional is the safest option to ensure you’re getting proper care.
However, I fully recognize that putting this option at the top of the list is proof of my privilege.
Because, let’s be real- therapy is NOT cheap.
I get that.
I found it hard to part with a few hundred extra dollars a month at the beginning, as well.
But then I realized that not only is my mental health is invaluable, but I’m also fortunate enough to have that money- so why not INVEST in my total well-being?
I should also mention that it took me a few tries to find someone that I actually clicked with, which made the financial aspect feel even MORE wasteful.
But, damn, now that I’m working with a woman I know I can trust and reach out to at any time- it’s made the other attempts so worth it.
I feel totally held by her.
I feel totally heard by her.
And I feel totally safe with her.
Nothing compares to that.
It's also important to note that therapy can come in all shapes and sizes.
Find a method that works for YOU.
Personally, I've found acupuncture to be just as beneficial for me as the sessions with my therapist.
The acupuncturist I see also holds a super safe and nurturing environment, that truly encourages HEALING.
Plus, she hooks me up with crazy herb concoctions that taste like ass, but do a great job at kicking my yeast infections to the curb.
Point being, maybe talk therapy isn't your thing.
Maybe acupuncure isn't either.
I'd just like to encourage you to see what's out there, before dismissing the idea of tending to your mental health.
Insert eye roll here, right?
I know, I know, everyone always talks about this idea of focusing on what you’re grateful for.
And, I don’t know about you, but when I’m that down and someone says something like that- all I can think of is:
How the fuck is seeing the beauty in a random flower, or a sunset ACTUALLY going to magically cure me right now?
I’ll be straight with you- it doesn’t work like that.
It’s a practice- a process that, overtime, helps to shift your overall perspective.
Here’s my take on it- it’s OKAY to feel all those feelings associated with darkness (sadness, pain, hurt, anger, resentment, etc).
In fact, I think it’s important to feel them all.
The danger lies not having those reactions to events.
The danger lies in dwelling in these spaces.
The longer we dwell, the more all of those yucky feelings fester and thrive off of one another- and the more difficult it becomes to pull ourselves out of it.
Because, let’s be realistic here, it’s a helluva lot easier to stay in that space of moping, pity, whatever you want to call it- rather than fight to pull ourselves out of it.
Incorporating a gratitude practice into my day-to-day life has forced me to see light in areas where I might otherwise only see gloom.
I use Five Minute Journal (the app) every morning when I wake up.
There are also hardback copies you can buy, as well- but given my lifestyle, having it on my phone has been super handy.
Since I’ve had my (let’s just call it) break down, usually the first thing I write to be grateful for every morning is just:
That’s how simple it is.
Some days I find beauty and abundance in most things, while other days I truly struggle to come up with even three.
But, I try.
And I think that’s the point in all of this.
I’ve written about this before, so I won’t go into the details of exactly what this entails for me.
I will say, however, this has helped to keep me grounded during a time of extreme uncertainty.
As I mentioned above, I do Five Minute Journal just about first thing when I wake up.
I avoid checking social media and/or emails until I’ve had even just a short meditation, and full ARRIVAL into the new day.
The great thing about a morning routine is that it’s something I can take with me everywhere, anywhere in the world.
However, there will need to be adjustments made- no doubt.
I was surprised how unsettled I felt a few days ago the first morning I woke up in Bali, simply because I didn’t have my own kettle for my morning tea ritual.
This jolt of annoyance just made me realize how sacred the first few hours of my morning are to me- so I quickly adjusted accordingly.
This one is big.
It’s so important to have people who know what you’re going through.
Then the weight won’t feel quite so heavy.
That being said, I think that as valuable as the online world is- it’s much more important to have support from “real” people in your life.
What I mean is, people you actually KNOW.
People you’ve spent time with, laughed with, cried with, experienced bits of life with.
However, your go-to people might not be in your immediate area.
This when technology is a God send.
I swear, sending long voice notes with my girl friends every day has been enough to make me smile EVERY day.
Even if I’m smiling through the tears.
I’m so grateful for the people around me lifting me up- family, friends, and loved ones.
And I hope you have even just ONE person like this in your life you can rely on.
Let them be there for you, even if you don’t want to.
Let them love you.
This one is very multifaceted, and can be whatever you make of it.
Maybe that means detoxing from social media/technology, relationships, or food.
Whatever it may be- usually these super low moments are a reminder that certain energies we’re letting into our sphere are NOT serving us.
It’s our job to figure out what those are.
And it’s out job to cut them off, or at least phase them out.
It’s pretty simple- does this practice, person, or thing lift you?
If the answer is yes, then keep it.
If the answer is no, then BYE.
If the answer is unclear, then see what happens if you lessen the amount of time you dedicate to this person, place, or experience.
Observe how you feel.
Look, you guys already know I’m vegan.
You know I have a dedicated fasting practice.
So I’m not going too continue to repeat myself there.
Also, you and I are at totally different point in our lives- so I’m not going to tell you what to eat, when to eat, how much of it to eat.
All I’ll say is that remember your body is a vehicle.
The higher quality fuel you put into it, the better it will perform.
Food/eating habits are so connected to depressive states.
We either overeat all the things that we crave, but might not serve us.
Or we don’t eat at all, because there’s just no appetite.
Maybe you don’t experience either of these things.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, just notice what you’re putting into your body during this time.
Notice how it makes you feel physically, energetically, emotionally- not just while eating, but also after.
I find that when I clean up my diet, I FEEL better on all levels.
However, it’s super important to note that if I eat something that “unhealthy” (has refined sugar, is processed, not organic, WHATEVER), and I feel good about eating it- then that’s OKAY.
The last thing you need when you’re depressed or anxious is to put yourself on a strict diet- because that’s just going to cause more worry.
All I’m suggesting is be mindful of what goes in, and how the output feels.
Be gentle and loving with yourself.
Everyone has a movement of choice- whether it’s yoga, surfing, running, hiking, skipping, snowboarding.
DO MORE OF THAT.
Or, if you can’t do MORE, then just do it at all.
I get it, sometimes it’s hard to just get the fuck out of bed.
But that’s when you need it most, I promise.
Even five minutes will help.
Moving your body means you’re moving the energy that’s within you, rather than letting it stay in that stagnate, festering phase.
My go-to movements are yoga (obviously), even if it’s just a couple deep breaths and stretches.
This is seriously my therapy.
Waiting until it cools down- putting in my headphones, listening to voice notes from loved ones, sending them back, and just MOVING all those ruminating thoughts around.
I’m not putting this at the bottom, because I think it should be prioritized last.
I just think it’s important to have at least somewhat of a foundation as far as mental health goes, before extending yourself to others.
We all know the idea of not being able to give from an empty cup, right?
Yeah, well that applies here.
I don’t know about you, but when I fall into a depressive state- I fall hard.
I don’t see nor feel ANY light.
But, then I start to claw myself out.
And after a few weeks, or months, I come back to myself a little more and recognize that OF COURSE there’s hope.
Of course there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s just going to take awhile to get there.
But at least that shred of hope is back.
It’s in this time that I feel comfortable serving others.
What does this mean?
Well, it can mean just about anything.
First of all, I’d suggest letting your act of service also be something that you actually ENJOY doing.
For instance, I miss teaching yoga.
So, I just offered to teach free classes to any women who contact me while I’m in Ubud over the next few weeks.
This feels great for me, because I love teaching.
And it feels great for them- because yoga is fucking awesome, and because it’s not a financial burden.
That’s just a small example.
Essentially, this totally depends on YOU- where you live, what’s needed, you’re skills, interests, etc etc.
Whatever you do- let it come from a place of truly just wanting to give, rather than wanting to get better.
This can be tricky.
And maybe it’ll take a few tries, and a few options to figure out what that means.
But when you know, you know.
You’ll feel it.
It will feel selfless, rather than selfish.
I know, I know- the whole argument that all good deeds are selfish, because they make us feel good in some way (hello, I grew up watching Friends).
I agree with this to a degree.
Although the act might make us feel good, it’s the intention we enter into the act with that matters.
Are you doing it to serve YOU?
Or are you doing it to serve THEM?
Get clear on that before jumping in.
Just a Final Few Reminders:
You’re not alone.
You have the tools AND the answers already within you- it’s just going to take some work to unearth them (and that’s okay!).
Light exists due to the contrast of darkness- it’s there.
Don’t lose faith.
You’ve got this.
Now that I’ve been in the world travel game for almost a decade, I’ve acquired a few tricks to the trade of how the heck to carry my life around on my back.
I went from being the person who brought two GIANT rolling suitcases to Ghana on my first solo trip out of the country, to someone who now survives for months at a time with only a carry-on backpack.
Extensive travel has helped reveal my relationship to STUFF.
Uncovering things that I need versus the things that I simply want.
To make things a little clearer for you guys, I was known as a “girly girl” throughout childhood and into early adulthood.
I prided myself in my extensive shoe collection, and had the perfect outfit for EVERY occasion.
Hair, makeup, and all things glam filled my soul.
Or, at least I thought they did.
Turns out being a somewhat dirty, barefoot grublet actually feels a helluva lot better.
I’d like to say that my first trip abroad changed everything right away- but that’s not the case.
Even though I would grossly over-pack with a million clothing options that I often didn’t wear, or even gave away- it still took awhile for me to adopt more of a “minimalism” mindset that I practice now.
A big shifting point for me was about 6 years ago when I was living in Kenya.
I booked a trip to Indonesia that was meant to be for one month.
But, due to health reasons- I never returned.
I had a three-bedroom apartment in Kenya full of all my THINGS (furniture, dishes, clothes, etc).
Not to mention, I’d only packed for a month (meaning I just had my backpack).
And guess how long I ended up staying?
For over a year.
Although I’d left behind a whole lot of STUFF, I actually had everything I really needed with me.
And damn, that feeling of running around to more than 20 islands in that year with such a light load was liberating as hell.
Here’s the thing, it’s really easy to get caught up in the whole “less is more” mentality when we’re living or traveling abroad.
Everything is a whirlwind of adventure, bliss, and expansion during these times, right?
Which is why I think it’s actually more important to keep these tools and principles in mind when we’re back to living in our day-to-day life.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself to be more susceptible to consumerism when I’m spending extended periods of time in Western countries.
Meaning, if I pack for a trip with this consumer mindset- then I tend to overload my bag with more meaningless nonsense.
As I prepare to leave for my next adventure, I noticed how much I’ve accumulated in the last few months of living in this tiny home.
I did a major purge of my closet, toiletries, and any other bullshit that I simply didn’t NEED.
Once the clutter had dissipated, I felt a little clearer mentally and a little lighter energetically.
Only then did I start to pack for the next few months.
In doing so, I thought that maybe my methodology might be useful to you.
After leading 12 retreats now with people coming from all over the world- I can’t tell you how many times people have complained about over-packing the hell out of their bags, and even leaving PILES of clothes/shoes/etc behind just to lighten their load.
I get it.
I’ve been there.
Which is why I’m writing this now.
So, here we go.
Below are a few tips on how to pack comfortably, yet efficiently for any trip- big or small.
1. Organize and Compact:
Disclaimer, this is NOT sponsored- these products have just been a game changer for me.
PACKING CUBES! I’ve been using E-Bags for years, and have zero complaints. They’re really durable, solid zippers, and can hold A LOT.
Sure, I’m Type A af (so organization just generally makes me feel better).
But, even if you’re not fussed about all that- just know that using the cubes helps to compress everything into a tighter bundle that won’t fall apart if your bag is being thrown around from plane to plane.
The downside is that they're not super cheap.
If buying packing cubes aren't within your budget, then you can even just use reusable (or plastic, if that’s all you have) bags.
Keeping your things folded and contained into smaller bags/cubes will help to maximize the space in your suitcase or backpack.
2. Carry On:
Look, I know I like to be prepared- but this strategy has saved me from quite a few potential disaster situations.
I know most people advise travelers to pack a change of clothes in their carry-on “just in case.”
Well, I actually pack anything that I feel I NEED in my carry-on.
This usually means one full, standard size packing cube with several pairs of bottoms, tops, swim suit (if that makes sense to where I’m going, which it basically always does), and underwear.
This way, if my checked bag gets lost- I can easily and comfortably live off what I have with me.
I also include all of my travel-size toiletries, any herbal supplements that I know I can’t get just anywhere, and electronics.
All in all, I have a large purse and one small backpack.
If you travel with jewelry, I’d always suggest carrying that on, as well.
Although it does feel like quite a bit to haul around with you at the airport- it also kind of shows you how much you really NEED for the trip.
Do you even need to check a bag if you have all that you truly NEED in your carry on?
This is obviously also subjective to the climate of where you’re going.
It’s often easier to pack for the tropics, because it’s all bikinis and light clothing- as opposed to a snow trip that involves thick jackets and extra gear.
The trick here is to simply be intentional with each item you pack.
I can’t say this enough: packing items that are comfortable, easy to layer, and that might have the potential to be used in a variety of ways.
What I mean is, rather than packing a ton of sports bras AND bathing suits, do you have some that can double as BOTH?
I know this is a small example that might not be able to apply to everyone, but it still gives you an idea of the concept.
Layers are also necessary for this reason.
Do you need multiple long sleeve shirts AND multiple sweaters?
Or can just one serve as both?
Lastly, be comfortable!
I know it’s easy to get caught up in the insta-perfect idea of travel with bloggers in their PERFECT outfits, and windblown hair.
When you’re away from home, you’re already out of your comfort zone- why not at least feel cozy in what you’re wearing, right?
This is another common mistake I’ve heard a lot of people voice, especially in the tropics.
Packing things like jeans and/or super tight clothing when it’s boiling hot, and so humid you’re essentially always damp- is not ideal.
Depending on where you’re headed, usually bathers and some sort of loose cover-up is more than enough for weeks on end.
If you’re going someplace more conservative- you can still pack fully covering, loose, and light weight tops and bottoms (I’ve packed only a carry on for India, and I’ve been more than comfortable with what I have).
Keep in mind that you can get your laundry done (or do it yourself) just about anywhere you go!
4. Toiletries and Supplements:
Do you have certain products that you know you won’t be able to find where you’re traveling?
If you have a short trip (one month or less), I’d suggest getting 100 ML dispensers (you can get these at any drugstore/pharmacy), and pouring the contents from your larger containers into the small ones, instead.
If that doesn’t work, then perhaps you can just buy the travel-size option of your product (but that will likely be more expensive than just buying empty containers).
This way, you can carry them on (and maybe even carry on everything on), rather than checking a bag.
In this time, be really clear about what you NEED.
Do you plan on putting on a full face of make up every day before you go to the beach?
Will you realistically blow dry and/or straighten your hair?
Do you need a giant bottle of shampoo?
Or do you need to even wash your hair every day?
Again, probably not.
If you’re not as picky about your products- then know that you can probably buy any toiletry needs wherever you’re going.
Keep in mind, depending on where your trip is, it might be difficult to get natural or organic goods.
But if you’re not bothered about that, then I’d say don’t pack ANY toiletries- and just buy them once you’re there.
Supplements are the same.
If you have certain brands that you know you can’t get just anywhere, then bring those with you.
However, if it’s something more general, you can probably buy it wherever you’re going.
A quick Google search should be able to answer any questions you have about herbs and medications in the country you’re visiting.
5. Feminine Care:
Most people aren’t aware how difficult it can be to actually find tampons in certain countries.
Luckily, my mom is a seasoned traveler- so she warned me about it before I left for Ghana all those years ago.
I was going to be there for 3 months, so I had to pack a SHIT LOAD of tampons.
No, they’re not that heavy- but they take up quite a bit of space.
Fast-forward to today, and all I have to do is pack my Lunette Cup (in my carry on)!
I love this because not only does it save waste, but it also saves a ton of space in my bag!
Plus, no more worrying about hunting for tampons if or when I run out.
This can clearly vary depending on your line of work, and/or if you’re traveling for work.
As someone who works online, and relies on technology to pay the bills- I get it.
One of the best things I did was switch my laptop to the lightest option (this is pricey, but worth it for me), and get an external hard drive.
I also switched to a mirrorless camera (also expensive).
Both of which have significantly dropped the weight of my purse (where I carry my electronics).
But, here’s the thing- if you’re strictly going on holiday with the intention to get away from work- then why pack them at all?
I think the important thing here is to just get clear about how you’ll use these devices, or if you’ll use them at all.
Keep in mind all of the chords, adapters, and batteries that we usually also need to pack in order to just USE them.
It adds up.
It’s also important to note that our phones, iPads, and laptops all have more or less the same functions.
So, decide if you truly NEED all of them.
Do you NEED a camera and a phone with a solid lens?
Do you need a Kindle and an iPad?
Do you need an iPad and a laptop?
Figure out what you’re using each device for in order to know if they’re necessary.
You might think it’s funny for one whole section to be dedicated to sarongs , but it’s only because they can be used for so many things!
If you don’t have a sarong already, I’d suggest getting one before you head off.
They’re great as blanket on the plane, or balled up as a pillow.
They can also serve as a scarf, a wrap around the shoulders, a hair scarf in conservative areas, beach blankets, or towels.
I tie one around my yoga mat so that I can sling it over my shoulder (like a bag strap), and then use it as a sweat towel, strap, or eye cover in my practice.
Similar to what I spoke to earlier with packing clothing that have multiple uses- this is why sarongs are so valuable.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spread them on an airport floor to sleep, or wrapped up in one on a long motorbike drive to not get burned.
They’re lightweight, but also can provide warmth and protection.
Little side note here- it’s very possible where you’re going will sell sarongs for a fraction of the price you can get them at home.
In that case, maybe just buy one prior to take off- and then stock up once you arrive to your destination.
Let’s be real, you’ll probably do a bit of shopping when you’re traveling.
This is important to note for two reasons:
Not only will this likely be cheaper than getting it at home, but it’s also more likely that they have the perfect attire for the area based on weather and culture.
I hope this helps when you’re prepping for your next trip.
I’ll be honest, I’m checking a bag for this trip mostly because I have SO MANY damn supplements at the moment due to ongoing health issues- that there’s just not enough space in my carry on.
But, I’m okay with that, because those are things I actually need right now.
Remember that your needs will be different to mine, and vise versa.
The most important thing to keep in mind is just mindfulness when packing, rather than chucking everything in possible.
You got this.