One of the hardest parts of traveling is taking your clothes with you. I’ve spent the past few months on and off the road, and fitting everything I need into one suitcase (a necessity if you’re using budget airlines) while still keeping everything you need to look your best is, to put it mildly, a challenge.
With this said, it’s possible to still keep a versatile wardrobe while you travel by making a few changes to the way you pack and the way you dress. It also helps to compromise and realize that you will never have the same level of versatility when you’re living out of a suitcase as you will when you’re living at home.
Right now I travel with a simple selection of clothes:
- Two to three tank tops for warm weather (it’s hot where I live and travel)
- Underwear, bras and other obvious essentials
- One pair of jeans, three pairs of shorts, and two dresses (one casual, one formal)
- A pair of training shoes, a pair of casual walking boots and one pair of heels
The key thing to remember is that you don’t actually need that much when you travel. I have enough in my suitcase to “fit in” at almost any situation, from a dinner with friends to a formal party. All of this fits neatly into my tiny suitcase without ever being a burden. It’s possible to create different looks with the same clothes by mixing around accessories and combinations. Remember, it’s much easier to carry around extra earrings or a few colorful belts in a suitcase than it is to pack another five pairs of shoes.
I think the best way to keep a good balance of style and practicality when you travel is to learn that you’ll never get quite the selection you’ll have at home, and then stick to your favorites and the basics. Personally, I’m happy to sacrifice a little bit of style if it means I can travel without using the cliché 50 liter backpack I see so many other people lugging around unnecessarily.
Overall, I enjoyed my time in Bangkok. The city is not perfect (there is a major traffic problem that makes it almost impossible to get around by taxi and too much sleazy nightlife) but there is also a lot to like. One of Bangkok’s biggest qualities is its shopping. There are more shopping malls in Bangkok than anywhere I’ve ever visited, including Singapore, which I previously thought was the world’s mall capital. Here are my favorites from my time in Bangkok:
This is a new shopping mall near Phrom Phong station on Sukhumvit Road. It was a short walk from my hotel and I found myself browsing around here most of the time I was in Bangkok. The bottom floors are the usual brand names but the upper floors of a section called the Helix have the most amazing food court I’ve ever seen. The building spirals round and round, so every restaurant faces outwards. Very cool, with great views from every place to eat.
Siam Paragon (and Siam Square)
This is much the same as EmQuartier, at least in my brief experience. The area opposite the mall, however, is very cool. It’s called Siam Square and it reminds me of a cross between Chinatown in Singapore and Shibuya in Tokyo. There are lots of small shops selling shoes, dresses and other items and the prices are extremely low. I picked up some great outfits for less than it would cost for discount clothes in Singapore.
I was told to visit this place by some friends and felt a little bit shocked after I walked in. The mall feels like a giant maze, with hundreds (or maybe thousands) of small shops selling everything you could possibly need, from fake watches to cellphones. Definitely not the most reliable place in the city to shop, but a fun sight to visit and a unique experience that I will remember forever.
In the end, I spent a little more in Bangkok than I expected to, but I got a lot for my money. Like Singapore, it’s a foodie paradise, but it’s also a great place to shop for a wide variety of items. Prices are generally lower for simple items than Singapore, but the brand name products I found were more expensive. Buy your Prada at home, and pick up some stylish and simple clothes in Bangkok instead.
I’ve just spent a few days in Bangkok, Thailand on a short trip. I had a surprisingly fun four days, even though the city itself wasn’t my favorite place of the many big cities I’ve visited so far. I had visited Bangkok before but only for a day and never got a chance to look around the city much. This time I had far more free time and got a chance to explore more.
Before I get into exploring, I want to share a review of my hotel. I stayed at the S31 Hotel, which is a boutique luxury hotel on the city’s main commercial road. It was fantastic! I have stayed in many luxury hotels from all of the big “brand names” in the industry over the years, and never likes the feel of the large, palatial hotels that are easy to find in most big cities.
S31 is a small hotel, and it has a really unique and modern feeling. The entire hotel is very modern and has a chic feel that you don’t get at the InterContinental or Hyatt. It’s also a short walk from the nearest Skytrain station and close to two large shopping malls, making it very convenient if (like me) you want to explore the city instead of spending all your life inside your hotel room.
If you’re staying in Bangkok and want to spend your time somewhere convenient, in a stylish setting, and in a refreshingly spacious room (especially compared to Singapore), then give S31 a try! By the way, expect more posts on my time in Bangkok, including the city’s many negatives, in the coming days.
I’ve spent the last six months traveling a lot, especially around here in Asia. Singapore is one of the world’s most important air travel hubs with flights to basically everywhere in the world, so it’s easy to travel from here. We also have the world’s most luxurious airport, which is a nice plus. In the last half year, I’ve visited Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. In the next few months I want to spend at least a few days in Australia, which is a surprisingly short flight away from here.
One of the hardest parts of traveling is staying productive. When I’m on the road, I always love to go and see the sights and experience my destination. Pulling out my laptop can be really tough! But staying productive is an important part of being a digital nomad, so some discipline is required. I’ve spent the last six months struggling to motivate myself, but these days I mostly have it under control.
How? It’s simple – set rules for yourself, and make yourself follow them. Here are the three rules I’ve set for myself that I force myself to follow every day I’m traveling, even if it’s the weekend:
- At least two hours of head down, focused work
- At least 15 minutes of writing and reviewing my day
- Reach Inbox Zero by the end of every two-hour work period
As you can see, my rules aren’t particularly challenging or difficult. This is intentional. If I made them hard to achieve, I would give up without even trying them. Even though I only make myself work for two hours, I often spend 3-4 hours or more in coffee shops and coworking spaces when I’m on the road. The key is to keep things simple and overachieve, not to push yourself and fail.
How do you work when you travel? Do you have a specific set of rules, or do you improvise? I’ve noticed a huge increase in my ability to focus and get work done just by setting simple rules for myself to follow and holding myself accountable for my decisions.