Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fancy Undies, Travel Insurance and Loving What's Next

My travel preparations haven't been all that organized, and this post will reflect that. I hope you're ready for this hodge-podge of updates, which includes everything from choosing travel insurance to stocking up on some damn pricey underwear!


I've bought a ton of travel gear online, but underwear is something I need to see in person before I can plunk down my credit card.

A number of travel bloggers rave about ExOfficio underwear for its comfort, durability and quick-drying ability. The Web site says its also treated with something called Aegis Microbe Shield to "maintain freshness," which I think we can all agree is a good thing.

I was happy to discover that the company is based in Seattle, and its flagship brick-and-mortar store is just a short drive away in Bellevue. After perusing the selection, I found a style that is very similar to what I usually wear and picked up three pairs. I'll supplement those with a few pairs of less-expensive undies because, at $18 a pop, I can't stomach buying more!

Based on reviews, I'm confident that these undies will hold up and keep me comfortable throughout my travels.


Someone gained a few pounds over the holidays and is having a fun time squeezing into her favorite jeans. OK, I might be exaggerating — the jeans still fit, but they're not all that comfortable. I can't imagine traveling in them!

I think many people leave denim behind as they pack for their RTW trips — it's heavy and takes a long time to dry — and I may be one of those people. If a little holiday weight-gain has left me crying for my sweatpants, I don't even know what'll happen once I begin eating a whole bunch of new foods on an unpredictable schedule. And I have big dreams to keep up with running as I travel, but who knows how that'll work out (pun intended, of course).

That's why I picked up a pair of lululemon yoga pants that are substantial enough to pass for dressier black pants, yet comfortable enough for long-haul plane rides. I'd also like to find a lightweight pair of convertible (roll-up) cargo pants, but my search continues for those.

Clearly I have my priorities straight — I'll be dressing to eat!


I did a major closet-and-dresser purge this past weekend and couldn't believe how many clothes I owned! I had entire drawers full of items that I never wore, but I kept them because I thought I might need them someday. Ha.

This was just the contents of one drawer — workout clothes, race shirts and sleep shirts:

Now that I have a good idea of which items I want to bring with me (thanks to my packing list), it was easy to part with the stuff I know I won't need and won't miss when I return. I did start filling a plastic storage bin with a few must-keep items, though, including the perfect pair of black pants and a nice dress that I could wear to a wedding, funeral or job interview.

The vast majority of my wardrobe, including shoes, filled several bags...

...and the nicer items netted me a total of $127 at a thrift store called Buffalo Exchange! The rest went to Goodwill.


Insurance is one of those terms that really freaks me out, like mammogram and Social Security. I feel like it's something adults are supposed to deal with. How am I even remotely qualified to choose an insurance plan?

I suppose I legally became an adult more than six years ago, but... but... I still don't like it. I wasn't looking forward to researching, choosing and purchasing travel insurance to help keep me safe and healthy on my trip.

It turned out to be really freakin' easy.

I began my research by checking out BootsnAll's travel insurance comparison chart. I knew I wanted a plan that covered adventure sports and emergency evacuation, and that I could easily purchase and maintain online.

World Nomads caught my eye for all of those reasons. I loved that the plans were straightforward and affordable, the site was easy to use and I could purchase a policy from two days to 12 months in length with unlimited extensions while on the road.

I then Googled around and read World Nomads reviews on travel forums, including those from people who made successful claims and were happy with the service. Shannon's rave review on A Little Adrift helped seal the deal.

Since I know I'll be traveling at least through August and I can easily extend it online, I purchased a six-month travel insurance plan... while watching my favorite TV show (I ain't ashamed).

Heh. Gotta love The Twitter.


Semisonic sings, "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." (Like that '90s flashback? You're welcome.)

My year-long gym membership ends tomorrow. My roommate is actively seeking someone to move into my room. It's quickly becoming time for me to sell my furniture and car. My friends have started planning a little going-away party.

I'd be lying if I said these things didn't make me sad. There have even been a few emotional evenings when I've cried myself to sleep thinking about everything I'm leaving behind and all the things that will never be the same again. Then I feel stupid because so many people would kill to be able to do what I'm doing.

I've decided that it's OK to feel however I feel; there's no point in trying to avoid it. I only need to remember that while one great part of my life is ending, another very exciting and long-awaited part is just beginning.

From Love Life — a wonderful Christmas gift from my dad's girlfriend, Pam.


New here?


  1. I completely agree with you in that we just should embrace the sadness of leaving our friends and family, even when we know we'll return.
    And get ready, because while in the road you'll make friends that might never see in person again, and You'll miss them dearly. Happened to me, but thanks to all the social networking that exploded in the past 10 years, I could reconnect with the ones that kept up with technology.

    You seem to be pretty well organized to me, even when you think You're not. I once had 12 hours before a trip that was supposed to be for 3 months and ended up being 15. Had to prepare everything in matter of hours, and I was at a party when my boss told me! Which didn't stop me from staying on the party. In short, I arranged everything in 45 minutes. Once You're on the road, you plan accordingly.

    I LOL'd when I saw that you actually posted the very model of underwear you bought! Stalkers will be pleased! :)

    I'm also planning to reduce dramatically my wardrobe... Honestly is harder that one thinks, but its also overwhelming how we can just store stuff hoping we ever use it.
    Minimalism, here I come!

    As always, waiting impatiently for the next post :)



  2. Thanks for your comment, Jorge. I'm feeling pretty organized for the first time! My to-do list is getting quite short. That's amazing that you got ready for a trip in 45 minutes!

    I removed the link to the undies once you mentioned the word "stalker," haha. I figured since I already wrote about the Diva Cup it wouldn't matter, but now I've changed my mind...!

  3. *Adds think abut underwear to the travel list*

    That never would have dawned on me so thanks!

  4. Glad I could help! I didn't really think about underwear either until I saw ExOfficio popping up on tons of RTW travel blogs.

  5. so Lucy used to make these great cargo pants that the bottoms zippered off. You could actually get them to 3 lengths (pants, capris, bermuda shorts), because they would roll up and button to be a bermuda short too. I didn't see them on their website when i recently looked though.

  6. Love reading your posts... and though it's hard to leave what you know it *will* still be there when (if?) you return... the things that are real at least. And yes, with technology it's easier to keep in touch - one thing to keep in mind for when you do return though - everything that was there when you left *will* be the SAME but you will not be, you'll have grown and changed and experienced a million exceptional things so that adjustment might be a bit more difficult than letting go.

    I love reading your blog and following you on this adventure, I'm really excited for you and can completely relate to the excess clothing and bags to goodwill... minimizing is such an amazing feeling. And as a note - it was time for me to leave for the airport and I was still disassembling my bed and trying to get my bags to close so there's always going to be something completely last minute... :)

    Check out REI for options on the roll-up cargo pants - Seattle has a huge one and if nothing else it'll give you some ideas of what you want then you can probably source them cheaper online. And keep in mind - anything you forget or don't realize you actually need can still be purchased wherever you go - NZ is afterall home to Icebreaker... ;-)

  7. @ShortSkirts: Sounds awesome! Too bad it's not around anymore, but someone's gotta make something similar.

    @Jac: Wow, I never even thought about how much I'D change! Crazy. And yes, I need to hit REI for sure. I have a feeling I'll grab a ton of stuff there.

  8. Devon... yes, it's something you don't expect but even when I went to Ireland on my own for 6 weeks a few years ago I struggled when I was back 'home' in the place I'd lived for almost 7 years... I can't imagine the adjustment after a year - it's funny how *little* does change of a place over the years (places, people, etc. typically stay mostly the same even through the passage of time) You're going to have a blast though!

  9. Getting ready for a big or long trip has always done wonders for my organization too. One trick I learned is to pick out all the clothes I don't like or want to give away and bring them on the trip. It's kind of wasteful but I sometimes throw them away, or wash them and give them to second hand stores, because I usually end up overstuffing my suitcase.

    Do you read Brooke's travel blog too? I'm making a trip to London this summer and I came upon the underwear topic too. I was thinking of getting the exofficio bikinis, but I'm not sure how comfortable this style is or if they really are worth $20. Any recommendations?

    1. I sold many of my clothes to a thrift store and earned about $130! Gave the rest to Goodwill. I don't think I could bring them along because they'd be too heavy for me!

      I'll just say this about ExOfficio underwear: I bought 7 pairs and they're the only underwear I'll be bringing on my trip. They're THE most comfortable underwear I've ever owned! The price is steep, but they are very high quality and I think they're worth it.

  10. It’s good to hear that you were able to find a travel insurance that really fit your needs and preferences. Adventure traveling and trips are not complete without trying out extreme activities that will get your blood pumping. And since those can be quite risky, it’s really important to have something that can protect you from unforseen things that might happen while you're on the road.

    Mitchell Carlson @ Insure Your Company


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...