What I brought to India (And what I wish I left behind)

Since this was my first international trip, I did a lot of research on what to bring to India as well as what was appropriate to wear, what the weather would be like, etc. I went to India for a yoga teacher training and I was in Northern India at the base of the Himalayas so I knew it would get cold. Now that I’m at the end of my trip I have a good idea of what I really needed and what to do next time.

What I brought:

  1. 2 T-Shirts
  2. 2 Tank Tops
  3. 3 Long Sleeved Tops
  4. 2 Pairs of Pants
  5. 4 Pairs of Yoga Pants
  6. A Thin Sweater
  7. A Sweatshirt
  8. A Fleece Jacket
  9. A Rain Jacket
  10. 4 Pairs of Warm Socks
  11. 3 Sports Bras
  12. Enough underwear to last a me week
  13. A Scarf
  14. Flip Flops
  15. Vans Sneakers
  16. Hiking Boots
  17. 2 Books
  18. iPad
  19. Planner
  20. 2 Notebooks
  21. Travel Journal
  22. iPod and Headphones
  23. DSLR Camera and Camera Pouch
  24. Small Pouch for Electronics Cords
  25. GoPro and stick
  26. 2 Outlet adapters
  27. Surge Protector Power Strip
  28. Toiletries and medications
  29. Small First Aid Kit
  30. UV purifying Water Bottle
  31. Small Daypack
  32. Carry on Messenger Bag
  33. Packing cubes
  34. 65 L backpacking backpack

What I would leave behind or change:

  1. Tank Tops: were I was in India was cold in the mornings and evenings so when I was doing yoga, it was never warm enough to need a tank top. I would have swapped these out for more T-shirts and long sleeved shirts. Also it isn’t accepted for women to show their shoulders so it was doubly pointless to bring them.
  2. Flip Flops: I liked having open toed shoes but I should have brought my birkenstocks or other sandals that strapped to my feet. I also found out that the Ohm tattoo on my ankle is disrespectful to the God associated with it, Lord Vishnu, because it’s on the lowest part of my body. I feel bad that it is portrayed that way here so I wish I had sandals that covered the symbol more.
  3. Hiking Boots: I was planning on doing a long trek while I was here but I had issues with getting a longer Visa so I had to come back earlier than expected. So I didn’t have enough time to hike. Next time I will plan better to make sure I don’t waste packing space.
  4. Notebooks: I ended up only needing 1 notebook for my classes but that’s not something I could have predicted. I don’t regret bringing 2, but for someone else doing a yoga teacher training, maybe pick up a thicker one.
  5. GoPro: Not completely sure why I brought this, I think I had some idea to make a travel video. I ended up wanting to experience all the new things through my own eyes instead of through a camera, so I never picked it up.
  6. Outlet adapter: Again, I only needed one of these, and since I brought a power strip I didn’t need it for charging more than one thing at a time. I ended up giving it to a friend I made who’s adapter didn’t work in Northern India. They also sell these in India so I could’ve waited until I got here, but I’m glad I had them on hand.
  7. Messenger bag: I wish I brought a slightly smaller one. I was looking on short notice for an over the shoulder bag that zipped up, and I could only find this one and it’s HUGE.

What I couldn’t live without:

  1. SOCKS!!! Holy crap was it cold! I never wear socks when I sleep but it was a necessity here with no heating in the rooms. I ended up buying 4 more pairs. I don’t wish I had brought more because the socks from McLeod Ganj have the cultures designs so it’s a nice keepsake to remember my trip.
  2. Books: Even though I went through my two books quickly I am glad I brought something to help my mind unwind from all the yoga knowledge being shoved in my brain.
  3. DSLR camera: Yes this is bulky, but the photos came out amazing and I’ll treasure them forever.
  4. Power Strip: I read somewhere that it was good to travel with one of these because 1) the change of electricity could fry your electronics (may or may not have been true), and 2) other countries don’t have as many outlets as we do in the States. My room did have 2 outlets but one of them didn’t work. It was so helpful to have the extra outlets on the power Strip for my iPad, iPhone, and camera chargers all at once.
  5. Lush tooth tablets: The taste of these took some time to get used to but they cleaned my teeth and it saved so much space. You bite down on one tablet and with a wet tooth brush start brushing normally. One container had enough for over 30 days.
  6. Lush shampoo and conditioner bars: These also saved me a lot of space in my backpack. I loved the shampoo more than the conditioner but for traveling I don’t need silky smooth hair (my coconut oil corrected that anyway). The shampoo bar smelled great and cleaned all the Indian pollution and yoga sweat from my hair.
  7. Camelback All-Clear UV purification water bottle: The water from the tap in India isn’t always safe to drink so it was really handy to have a purification water bottle. It’s the size of a normal water bottle and is quick and easy to use. It only takes 60 seconds to purify the water.
  8. Day Backpack: I used this every time I went to town, it held everything I needed and left plenty of room for all the shopping I did.
  9. Packing Cubes: when you are traveling in a backpack these are essential. It keeps everything organized so you can move the bags around without your clothes getting jumbled in your pack. I found mine on amazon, one of them ripped before I even left for my trip but you can always find better ones.

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