How to travel light and still look presentable

I just came across a tale that reminds me of me to the very extreme when I travel. And why I love travel so darn much. Because it really is the best learning experience you’ll ever have.

Meet Mike Spencer Brown, who claims to be the most-traveled guy ever. For almost longer than you may have been alive, he’s roamed the planet, exploring every country on Earth.

Making like a pygmy and hunting dinner in the middle of the African jungle. Forgoing the rental car and getting around by horse and yurt. (What exactly is a yurt, anyway?)

I’ve never approached anything like that, and never will. Heck, I’ve never even taken horseback riding lessons.

But I can somewhat identify with his M.O.

— Lived out of a backpack the whole time.

— And he barely owned anything. Down to one pair of trousers, which he would wash and then dry. While wearing.

OK, I could never hack that.

Lisbon, Portugal.

Accidentally caught up in the middle of some marathon in Lisbon, Portugal.

But, as you know if you read PL, I am a firm believer in traveling light with my faithful Vera Bradley carry-on.

With all my chatchkas on the Eastern & Oriental Express train.

With all my chatchkas on the Eastern & Oriental Express train in Malaysia.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want to look and smell nice. And I do like my creature comforts. (BTW, the above’s not intended to show how ridiculous you can look, but how much you can actually cram into a carry-on.)

Outdoor bathroom, Maldives.

Outdoor bathroom, Maldives.

I just pack maniacally methodically. (Mitch jokes that my version of packing consists of stuffing a pair of socks in my pocket.) Seriously, I take only what I really need. And I’m not averse to doing laundry when necessary.

Couple of secrets:

A little box (about the size of a smartphone) of laundry detergent goes a long way.


Along with some travel bags that an old Aussie mate turned me on to.

A good friend in the retail clothing biz also offered a great tip: Roll up some clothes good and tight to avoid rumpling and wrinkling. It works.

There you have it. You, too, can be almost as carefree as the world’s most-traveled guy, but not nearly as spartan.


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