Last August I went to Guatemala with one of my best friends, for 10 days. It was my first time spending any real time in a developing country and it was definitely an adventure. There are good things and bad things about this kind of travel, and I'm not really going to get into all my feelings about that region of the world except to say that I learned a lot about rustic accommodations and letting go of some parts of my self-image that were negative or limiting. I have always been an inactive indoor kid, but on this trip, I said yes to every opportunity. I crawled and swam through dark watery caves, jumped off a bridge, climbed my first mountain AND my first volcano, rode a zipline through the canopy trees, swam in a volcanic lake, dined and made friends with strangers, and took my chances with sketchy modes of transit, DDT-laden veggies, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes. There were times when I thought I'd die, and times when I thought my friend and I would never speak again, but we both lived to tell the tale and to revive our friendship.
Anyway, after this trip, I made a list of "adventure gear" that I wished I'd had while there, and I've been amassing a collection of stuff for whenever I find myself once again doing outdoor-kid travel, which hopefully will be soon. Soon as I find a place to go and a travel companion.
Here's the stuff on my list:
- headlamp (got it for xmas from my very confused but entertained parents)
- super high capacity memory card for my camera (got it)
- teva-type sandals (just ordered this morning! yes, I got almost the same ones my friend had in Guate)
- high quality backpack with separate compartments for my stinky used adventure clothing
- adventure clothing -- tough but easily washed, warm but lightweight, adaptable to a lot of weather conditions and activities