I am home! The last few months of travelling has been a great experience but it’s true when they say there is no place like home. From San Francisco we ventured south into Central America where we spent a few days in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and our final stop, Panama. The juxtaposition between one of America’s most expensive cities and the rural coffee regions of El Salvador was surreal; active volcanoes replaced skyscrapers and cattle with cars. After a few days in Sukutoto, a small village close to the Guatemala border, city life seemed a distant memory.

Whenever I travel, there is always some degree of preparation but how can you be prepared when you have no idea what to expect? At least that was the case with Nicaragua, a country I knew very little about yet after a few days of exploring the city of Leon, I soon decided this would not be my last visit.

Preparation is about more than just remembering to pack a spare pair of underwear. It’s about knowing you’ve done everything required for the journey ahead so that from the beginning of your adventure, you can let go of the worries and stresses of yesterday and fully immerse yourself in the wonders of today.

“Preparation begins in the café”. That’s a profound quote, right? There’s something almost euphoric about sitting in the corner of a café with a cup of coffee and a notebook. Nestled amongst the woven backstreets of Shoreditch, experiencing some of the finest pour-over coffee, you’ll find me preparing for my next adventure. It’s my happy place; where a journey begins and ends. This image features the Victorinox I.N.O.X carbon watch which I now wear whether I’m racing from city to city or base to mountain top.

For me, packing is the worst part of travelling largely because ‘packing light’ isn’t in my vocabulary. There are too many ‘what if’ possibilities to waste those few extra kgs you could have had. The one thing that’s made my packing life more tolerable is the trick of ‘rolling your clothes’ but only because it makes space to squeeze in those last few grams. The best thing about this suitcase is that it expands by nearly half. During my time in Central America we stayed at a different hotel every night, flying nearly every other day. It was such a relief that I didn’t have to squeeze my clothes in the perfect order, instead I could just make the bag bigger!

Currently, I use this duffle as my ‘every-day’ backpack purely because I can access my camera from the front without pulling out the entirety of my belongings (as well as being able to attach my bike lock to the front). It might sound simple but that’s essentially all I want and need when the cruising around the city. There’s a nice laptop compartment with foam padding at the back which makes walking around with my gear super bearable.

You’d be surprised how many times this pen knife came in use during my latest trip. Whether it be carving off coconut or cutting string for my camera mic, I’m glad I wasn’t without it.

I think good preparation leads to hassle free exploring. With that said, there’s only so much you can do. Life happens and we just have to react the best we can. Once you accept that, things gets a whole lot easier.

This blog post includes a product placement by Victorinox