"All you ever asked me to buy for you are books."
My husband sighed when I told him that he could get me the Kindle version of George Orwell’s work ”Why I write" as a present this Christmas. I can understand his disapproval as Kindle books aren’t exactly wrap-able, and thus not suitable for the holiday.
My comeback was that I was living out of a 28 litre backpack. I literally do not have any spare room (or a spare room at all, for that matter), and I am happy with everything being “digital”. The word is in my job description, for heaven's sake: I'm a digital nomad doing digital marketing.
I do understand my husband’s challenge, though. As Tim Ferris wrote, finding the perfect gift gets harder with time. I remember clearly the many hours I pondered over buying gifts for my family, thus, as the holiday is getting close, I decided to make a list of gift ideas for people who similarly love to travel and who live a simple life prioritising experiences over possessions.
So this is my wish list for 2017:
Tickets to Festivals Abroad
One highlight of our 2015 was the Best Kept Secret music festival. It happened in a safari park in the south of the Netherlands. Needless to say, it was amazing to see Kate Tempest, First Aid Kit and many more bands. We also took the chance to camp and go on a road trip around the unfamiliar south. That area around the three-land border point has a hilly topography which is rarely found in the Dutch land. Interesting, right? A side note: Radiohead will be closing the 2017 BKS.
2016 has been a busy year for us. We got married (twice) and travelled around like a vagabond newly wedded couple for months on end. Yet one of the most memorable moments for me was to go to London with Ian so I could see my most favourite American: Mike Birbiglia. A trip to London is always an experience for those who don’t live there, I reckon.
Going to see a new band or to watch your favourite stand-up comedian in an exciting city or country is one of the best experiences one could share with me. You get to see new shows and explore new places, at the same time. So I’ve made a list of festivals I want to check out or come back to. It doesn’t have to be all for 2017, but let’s set the bar high, shan't we?
Sziget Festival in Budapest
The grand capital of Hungary is very interesting and I would love to come back to see it during this one-week music festival.
Go to one of these seven sagra, stuff our face and enjoy the gorgeous weather in autumn.
Edinburg’s Fringe Festival
Revisit this amazing Scottish city and laugh our heads off watching standup comedy performances. The British sense of humour is one of the best!
Pro tip: The Fringe Festival has came to many other countries, as far away as Australia. Check out the one nearest to you and support fledgeling artists worldwide.
Better travel gear
I know these count as possessions, but if we own fewer, better things, we could live and travel lighter and more environmentally friendly.
Merino wool was our discovery in 2016. Ian did a lot of research for the best material for travelling in hot countries and he found this high tech one used in t-shirts of brands like Icebreaker, Super Natural, etc. They are light, dead comfy to wear and extremely quick to dry.
Because he uses merino wool clothes, he needs to pack and use only three t-shirts instead of five or seven. Same goes for underwear and socks.
As winter has come, especially for those who are sticking around Europe, here is a list of gear I'd like to get for my future travels:
- A small, heat-proof, travel mug for my many cups of tea as it’s high time we stopped getting one-time paper or plastic cups! This Zojirushi travel mug is probably my top choice.
- Something in Uniqlo’s HeatTech line of long underwear
- An ultralight puffy, down isolation jacket like this one
The all-time favourites
Now, I am out of ideas. I guess Kindle books always count. Here’s the list of books I want to read in 2017:
- Why I write, by George Orwell
- Writings on an Ethical Life, Peter Singer
- The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen
- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert
- Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir, Chris Packham
- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee
Merry Christmas, everyone🎅
And a Happy New Year too as we will won't be around with a new blog post next week