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I sit here this morning in tired exhaustion. A FLASHPACKER sitting in the beauty of Bali conducting business in a time zone that is 12 hours behind me.

Yes, life on the road is wonderful, hectic and my work fits into my backpack along with clothing and supplies for a 6 day getaway.

I am the new breed of worker. I AM a FLASHPACKER!

What is a flashpacker you ask?!?

I read this on the flight to Singapore aboard the Air Asia flight.

Flashpacking might sound like a made-up word but it’s actually a hip travel term. Flashpacking is essentially a mode of travel that involves technology. Flashpackers – the people who indulge in flashpacking – are techno travelers who never leave home without their iPad, iPhone, laptop and other technological wonders, and NEED wifi or internet facilities wherever they roam. Although flashpacking and flashpackers might sound suspiciously like backpacking and backpackers, they are not the same. The key element that sets them apart? Flashpackers, unlike backpackers, tend to have a more flexible budget that allows them to indulge in a meal at a good restaurant or a stay at a boutique hotel.

Oh, that is soooo me, outside of not being able to indulge much on this trip yet (go here and buy a print to help make an indulgence in my life possible!). But flashpacker I am!

Being a flashpacker is a huge u-turn in the road of life for this girl. I used to be the one who always traveled with an over-packed rolling suitcase and a carry-on, could have cared less about having my computer or anything beyond the most antiquated flip phone and always wore heels and perfectly applied makeup.

Wow! Life can take a dramatic change in a matter of a few years!

I can now fit a weeks worth of clothes, toiletries, makeup and essentials along with my work electronics into a 20 pound backpack.

So what are the essentials that I ALWAYS have packed?

Writing instruments
Sketch paper
Flip flops (put at bottom of largest section as padding for electronics)
Sarong (works as piece of clothing, blanket, picnic blanket, towel)
Bug repellant
Recycled plastic bags
McGyver-type things (paper clip, old twisty tie, nail, string, etc.)
Snacks (protein)
Pepper spray (take that out when going on a flight)
Pocket knife (ditto the above)
Lighter or matches
International drivers license
Picture of Lex
Folding fan
Keys on a lanyard

For work:

Laptop & power cord
Different lenses, card reader and battery charger packed in waist belt (fanny pack)
Electrical adaptor with bag of adaptors for all country possibilities

For me:

3 outfits (interchangeable to make 6 days worth of outfits - dress, shorts, pants)
Makeup & toiletries bag

Can buy there if not supplied:

Laundry detergent

*I've also learned to use things that can serve a dual makeup bag becomes a clutch if I decide to go out in the evening. My belt becomes a strap if something needs to be held in place. Think in a McGyver -style of useage when packing.

Everything in my backpack has a certain spot to go. In the middle of a black-out, I could find the exact needed item because of always placing it back in the same exact spot.

Another suggestion, especially in areas known for pickpockets, investing in a metal cord (like a laptop security cord and lock) to wind through the zippers on your backpack that can lock everything closed and thwart off a thief. Or consider buying sets of small baggage locks to secure the different sections of your backpack. I now know that they use knives and cut thru your backpack so make certain not to put valuables in the easy to get areas that a thief would slash.

Working from the road was something I aspired to almost a decade ago. I knew that in time the need to be chained to a desk would not be a necessity for being able to conduct business.

I can now circle the globe with everything I need in Big Green (home) and Little Gray (office). For the short excursions I can downsize everything even more into Little Red (backpack combo of home and office).

It takes letting go of material wants in order to live a lifestyle of this type, but doing so has taught me a tremendous amount. Simplicity works wonderfully for me. I no longer feel the need to compete with the Joneses. When I see a beautiful dress in a shop window, I admire it and keep walking.

Become a flashpacker on your next vacation. Join me and many others in the way we travel around the world!

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copyright 2011-2017 Loxley Browne

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