What’s in My Suitcase?

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

July 17th, 2016 • Travel Dance HealPrint Print

Here’s what’s in my suitcase. So far, everything seems necessary, except perhaps two items of clothing, which I have not used yet. Initially I had one big suitcase for check-in and one little suitcase for taking on the plane – so that I could wheel around my laptop, plug, wrist braces, sweater, and poncho, instead of carrying them on my back. My big suitcase, however, ended up overweight, so I repacked and distributed the weight between the big and little suitcase, checking them both in. I ditched the sweater, power cable, and wrist braces, to keep the backpack light. I’ll probably continue like that for the rest of my journey, although in larger airports, I will have to take my wrist braces and electrical plug, so that I can work on my laptop while flying. Every little bit of weight counts when it’s on your sensitive little back, and you’re on foot! We’ll see how it goes. For now, here’s what I’ve got:

Bike Stuff
I plan on renting bikes wherever possible, so I brought my helmet, biking gloves (for the colder environments), fleece jacket (which is just an all-around useful item of clothing but especially good for biking in colder climates), yellow windbreaker, and biking shorts, and bike top, which doubles as a dance top.

Dance Stuff
Of course I’m going to dance all journey through! My laptop provides my access to my music subscriptions and doubles as my work station wherever I am; my headphones enable me to rock out without disturbing neighbors – although I originally packed them for Skype use, and only recently discovered their benefits to my dance routine; and my portable speakers enable me to rock out anywhere that there is an electrical outlet. I also brought my dance shoes, so that I can dance in nightclubs and on hard floors. And all my clothing doubles as dance clothes and pajamas – honestly, I can pretty much dance and sleep in everything I brought.

Body Stuff
A significant part of my suitcase is filled with supplements. It takes a lot to blast the system with immune boosting power, and I take many different supplements prescribed by my integrative oncologist. Some of them are in big fat bottles. I also have echinacea spray and other over the counter supplements that help prevent and heal from your basic cold and flu symptoms. In addition, I have an S-hook, which is a self-massager; a dry brush (which helps with itchy back as well as exfoliating the skin – a detox tool); a self-applier for sun lotion; an eggshell-carton style camping mat, which can save my back if I end up in a situation with a bed that is too hard or too squishy; a sleeping bag, if I end up in a situation with insufficient blankets; a battery-operated, lightweight, tiny fan, which is awesome in hot climates and doubles as a hair drier; a heating pad, in case I end up in with a pain flare; an eye cover for sleeping, to block out light; wrist braces, which I use daily when typing; all the requisite toiletry stuff – face lotion, body lotion, dental hygiene stuff, and so forth; a quick-dry towel, for beach trips and in case I end up in a situation without towels; and, of course, earplugs.

As mentioned before, my clothes are multi-purpose, for dancing, sleeping, and otherwise walking around like a properly-clothed person. I have two long flowy dance pants, one ¾ length dance pants, one pair of quick dry, Indiana Jones style shorts, one skirt, three summer dresses (two of which I seem to be wearing most of the time – you just throw it on, and voila, you’re dressed!), a swimsuit with a skirt, which I can wear anywhere, because it’s basically another summer dress; a flowy white top that will serve me well for services during High Holidays; and two t-shirts, one sleeveless shirt, and one long-sleeve shirt – which double not only as my pajama tops but also as my eye cover, when my official eye cover is in the wash. I also have a wool sweater and wool poncho, which are good for cold climates, including airplanes. The poncho also can serve as a blanket in a pinch, which is actually how I use it on the plane. I also have a pair of running shoes, which are my basic walk-around shoes; a pair of flip-flops, which are perfect for beaches; and a pair of boots, which will come in handy when I get to Scandanavia.

Techie Stuff
I have a camera and tripod (the latter of which is for creating multimedia programs – ie, working while traveling), MP3 recorder for when I create music or want to journal without having to write, international electrical adaptor, plug strip (so that I can plug all my American stuff into that, then plug the strip into the international adaptor – amplifying how many electrical things I can use around the world); and MP3 player and lightweight headphones – which I plan on figuring out how to program so that I can dance on the beaches and in the mountains and so forth.


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