I already mentioned things I was taking along with me to Asia and things I was leaving behind. But at that time I couldn’t have for seen the things that I left behind and would very soon wish I had packed, had I known better. So here it is, the list of things I would add to my bag, if I were packing today.
SIM card capable phone – I had planned on bringing my iPhone for Wi-Fi and using some combination of Google Voice and Skype for calls whenever necessary. This seemed adequate for my communication needs, that is, before I realized how easy and cheap ($5) it was to get a local SIM card with prepaid minutes. A SIM card that could be easily slipped into your old phone that you haven’t used since a smart phone came into your life. I also didn’t realize just how prevalent they were among other travelers, making keeping in touch with new friends as simple as it is back home.
Razor that can handle Asian voltage output – Lets get right to the point with this one. I fried my razor due to the difference in voltage. I should have brought one of two things. Either a voltage converter or a razor with one already built in, like many electronics these days, this laptop and my camera for example. I should have planned for this but simply overlooked it. My own fault.
Small padlock – Most hostels that I’ve been to in the past provide lockers for you to secure your valuables, especially when you’re in a dorm room that you’re sharing with others. But what I’ve found different about Thailand, is that instead of providing a key, many places require you to bring your own lock. In a way, this feels more secure since no one has the key to your lock, so I’m definitely not complaining. And I was able to pick one up from a local vendor, but before I could do this, I did have to spend a few nights with my valuables in my pockets as I slept and would’ve preferred having had a lock already and one from the U.S.
Vibram FiveFingers – I brought one pair of shoes and one pair of flip flops thinking that would adequately meet all my needs, and it has for the most part but a few times I’ve wanted something I could get wet and also be secured to my feet. This has come up a few times on the trip already whether its swimming to islands (stepping on coral rocks) or climbing up waterfalls (slipping all over the place in flip flops). Sandals with straps would work as well, but FiveFingers would also be better for hiking to these places than sandals or my Vans. I think they would have been worth the extra weight.
Soccer ball – Why is it so hard to find a reasonably priced soccer ball in Thailand? You’d think they’d be cheaper than back home.