Regina G Beach

The only constant is change.


Some people pack in an organized fashion prepping shopping lists and to-do lists for weeks before take off. I am not one of those people. I leave in 2 days for a six-week trip covering 5,000 miles through four countries on two continents. I fly Cleveland to Boston to Lisbon to Dakar on multiple airlines and I want to carry-on my bags whenever possible to avoid the dreaded lost luggage where I stress for days in a foreign country while wearing only the clothes on my back. I know (as always) I’m bringing too much and won’t need everything. A fellow pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago in Spain told me that anything extra one packs is just the weight of the fear of the unknown and unpredictable. 


Looking at any social media platform you’re bound to encounter Knolling or flat lays, the trend of photographing items from overhead lined up neatly in a grid. Photos range from musical instrument parts, tools, art materials, and lately, nearly arranged items to pack for a trip. Knolling was started by the janitor at Architect Frank Gehry’s furniture store, Andrew Kromelow. Kromelow lined up his tools in an easy-to-access grid reminiscent of the angles in designer Florence Knoll’s furniture styles. But how did we get from a tool organizational system to a photography trend? You can thank artist Tom Sachs who worked with Gehry, encountered Kromelow and started taking photos.

Not that anything having to do with Knolling is relevant to me and my system of “throw it on a floor then squish and roll it into the bag as compactly as possible” method I employ. There’s always next trip, right? Anyway, here’s what I’m bringing for 6 weeks in Senegal, Morocco and Egypt with a 3 day layover in Lisbon from late June to early August.    

Packing List


  • 6 undies

  • 3 long sleeve shirts

  • 2 tanks

  • 2 pants

  • 3 skirts

  • 1 dress

  • 4 socks

  • 1 pair of shorts

  • 1 tee-shit

  • leggings

  • flip flops

  • loafers

  • sneakers

  • sunglasses

  • bathing suit and bikini

  • bandana

  • head scarfs

  • rain jacket and pants

  • sarong


  • ziplock bags

  • sunscreen

  • malaria meds

  • liquid detergent

  • soap

  • deodorant

  • first aid kit- pain killer, antiseptic cream, antihistamine, diahreeah

  • bug spray

  • sewing kit

  • dental floss

  • baby wipes

  • tooth brush and toothpaste

  • towel

  • ear plugs and face mask

  • electrolyte tablets

  • comb

  • lip balm

  • safety pins

  • nail clippers and tweezers

  • bandaids and tape

  • tissues/TP

  • moisture lotion

Electronics and other items

  • water bottle

  • fanny pack/wallet

  • plug adapters

  • headlamp

  • daypack

  • sleeping bag liner

  • travel pillow

  • microphone

  • battery bank

  • water filters

  • notebook

  • iPad

  • deck of cards

  • pens

  • copies of passport and itinerary and plane tickets

  • passport photos

  • yellow fever documentation

  • cutlery, Tupperware

  • cash

  • CamelBak bladder

  • luggage lock for train

  • headphones

  • travel yoga mat

  • phone and charger

  • extra duffel bag and reusable grocery bag

It seems like a short list and it is. I’m taking the least amount of stuff on this trip than I have in a long time. I’m not packing boots, cycling gear or cold weather clothes. I’m not packing camping equipment or any specialty items. I know if I really need something I can buy the local equivalent.