What I’m Packing for 9 Weeks in the Middle East

I love reading other people’s packing lists, so here’s mine. I rarely stress too much about what to bring on a trip, and usually pride myself on packing light, but it was a real struggle this time. The Birthright recommended packing list is absolutely ridiculous (12 t-shirts and 14 pairs of socks for a 10-day trip? for real?) so obviously I wasn’t using that as a guideline, but I also don’t want to be the smelly backpacker kid if in fact there isn’t time to do laundry as they have tried to convince me. I also had to make sure that I brought “modest” clothing for more conservative areas, including items that will cover all my tattoos if I feel it’s necessary at some point. But it’s also going to be ridiculously hot (though cold in the desert at night!) and the cities are very cosmopolitan, so nice yet comfortable clothes are essential.

I struggled so much with making a mental packing list for the past few weeks (and shopping for a bunch of new clothes, something I rarely do before a trip, but I didn’t own much that fit the above parameters), that I didn’t actually sit down and throw it all together until today. I’m bringing far less than the organizers recommend but far more than I’m used to bringing on my solo trips — I had significantly more trouble cramming it all in than usual. I’m sure I still forgot something, but whatever it is I can buy it abroad. Continue reading