So after setting aside a fair few hours and preparing myself for tears and tantrums my main bag is now packed. And yes, there were many tears and tantrums. I mean, how devastating is it when you can't fit in that 5th par of shorts because you already have 4 almost exactly the same and your bag is starting to rip at the seam? This may have also accounted for the tears as whilst repairing the rip I managed to stab myself in the leg with the needle and only then realising I'd sewn part of my jeans to the bag.
And here it is, the contents of my backpack for a year or longer trip to god knows where I'll end up. But almost definitely at least the Philippines, Thailand and Australia.
Note: many travellers may be appalled by the amount of unnecessary and excessive items on this list seeing as I have completely ignored the unwritten rule of travelling light. Apologies.
2 pairs flip flops
1 pair heels
mosquito bands and repellant
shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo
lenses, solution and pot
marmite (i just can't live without it!)
tanning oil (this is replacing sunscreen as it has a facter, no doubt I'll get shouted at for this one)
tampons (becuase, you know)
first aid kit
small bag containing scissors, nail clippers, tweezers etc
wash bag containing the usual, ie soap, deodrant, razors
make up bag containing the obvious. And if you don't know whats obvious then you shouldnt be taking one.
many many pairs of knickers (i hate washing)
2 pairs socks
1 pair leggings
64 millions bikinis (well actually only 7 but much more than most people take)
4 pairs casual shorts
10 casual tops (yes far to many I know)
2 pairs ali babas (think aladdin pants worn by hippies and everyone travelling SE Asia)
4 going out tops
2 going out shorts
1 going out skirt
And there you have it, I am guarranteed to have forgotten between 3 and 10 essential items. This is where the advantage of packing a week in advance really shows, hopefully I will remember and add the forgotten items at some point within the next 8 days. Much more prefereable to hunting down a toothbrush in down town Manila at midnight.