Recently I had a chance to read Anne Richardson’s e-book The Modern Nomad’s Backpack. Finishing my reading in the most appropriate place – on a plane from Gran Canaria back to my home in London – I thought it would be nice to share my views on this book with you guys as it makes a really nice and worthwhile reading.
The book consists of several chapters and is fully packed with handy tips from how to choose your bag, travel clothes and accessories to packing your gadgets and even your expectations 🙂 All chapters are nicely balanced with information covering all aspects of traveller’s packing, from tips for beginners to pro advice and also, what I highly appreciate, tips for specific brands, products and services, so you can easily find and try everything Anne talks about. Some tips may be more US oriented but many others are handy regardless of your location or home base.
At last, the price of this e-book is more than friendly and I can say that for a couple of dollars you get a very good value.
If you’d like to know Anne, the author of The Modern Nomad’s Backpack, check out her website and enjoy this interview!
Interview with Anne Richardson, author of Modern Nomad’s Backpack
So Anne, how long have you been a digital nomad?
My husband and I first set off in December of 2011. Looking at the date, it feels like a long time has passed. But time has turned into a funny thing for me since we started traveling. It feels like every adventure we had was just last month or a couple of months ago. I guess it’s because I just don’t really care about time anymore. And that’s pretty freeing. Unless we’re talking about getting to the airport on time – I do still care quite a bit about that.
And how long have you been thinking about writing an e-book on packing? What inspired you to share your experiences?
A funny thing happened before I wrote The Modern Nomad’s Backpack. For the past 2 years, I had been slowly working on illustrations for a coloring book I was writing, sort of off-and-on between client projects. Then one day, when I was almost totally finished with my coloring book, my files were gone. I did everything I could to recover them, but was left with only 3 early sketches. That was it. My awesome, hilarious, almost finished project was dead. So I cried a little. And the next day, I decided that I’d just move forward and start outlining a different book. It was a book I’d been writing bit by bit anyway with blog posts and emails to friends who had asked for advice. Clearly there was a market for this information, but no other book like it. So I set out to write the book I wished I had been able to read when we were planning our travels, and thus, The Modern Nomad’s Backpack was born. After all, it makes no sense to me for people to have to start at zero when so many of us know the answers to those tricky logistic questions – because we did the hard learning.
I remember having spent days back before we initially set out trying to find the answer to what to do with our phone contracts. How were we going to keep getting paid for our freelance work? How would we keep our laptops safe while traveling in unknown places? How much stuff should we each be carrying? How many pairs of underwear will I need? I had a lot more questions than answers. So I really wanted to help other people move beyond those time-wasting, momentum-sapping research topics so they can skip to the good stuff, like where do I want to go first?
If you had to pick one (let’s say the most important) advice from you e-book, what would it be?
Carry a small bag – carry-on size only (a.k.a. hand luggage or cabin baggage). Why? Stuff is heavy and it weighs you down both physically and emotionally. If you’ve got a 60 liter bag, it’s heavy and your travel days will be tiring and cumbersome. And if you’re carrying lots of things you really don’t want to lose, you’ll be worrying about the welfare of that stuff far too often. The trick is to only carry a few useful things and then adjust to having less. You may be surprised how little stuff you actually need to feel comfortable and you’ll be delighted at how free you feel when you’ve got everything you could possibly need – all in a small bag on your back.
Do you have any other books planned?
I don’t have any plans for another book just yet, but I’m really excited about the Spanish Flash Card & Poker Deck I just created. As a savvy packer, I tend to make my own multi-use things. For example, I modified a pair of shorts to also function as travel underpants with secure passport pockets. So finding another use for the deck of cards most travelers carry, seemed like a natural fit. Plus, they’re way more fun than your standard set of flash cards! Where else will you learn the basics like “how much does it cost?” and “is it safe to walk here at night?” but also get the stuff you really need, like “I have bug bites. I need to buy itch cream and insect repellant” and “I have a hangover. Let’s do shots of tequila.” Having spent lots of time asking these questions, or helping other travelers to ask these questions, I thought this seemed like an abundantly useful tool for travel. Plus, you can play poker with all of your new hostel friends.
Again, I’ve learned some stuff the hard way, but I’m also grateful for the little gems I’ve picked up along the way. We fellow nomads look out for each other and I feel like both The Modern Nomad’s Backpack and Spanish Flash Card and Poker Deck are solid ways to help the nomads I don’t get to meet in person to get a leg up on their next adventure.
Where are you now and where are you headed next?
Now is a very exciting time! We’ve just arrived back at our home base in Denver, Colorado, USA after 2.5 years on the road. We plan to rattle around here for about 6 months – working on projects, hugging old friends, and planning our next adventure. We’re working out the details for a trip to camp in the ancient Redwood Forests in California, and perhaps even the gorgeous geothermal pools at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Then when the weather turns cool again in the US, we’ll head somewhere new and somewhere warm south of the equator.
About the Anne:
In 2011, Anne Richardson and her husband Mike sold or donated everything they owned and set off on a new adventure as digital nomads. Since then, they’ve slept on a volcanic island, nearly lost a cat in a hurricane, and have chased pigs out of a yard at dawn – wearing only their underpants. You can catch up with Anne and Mike on their travel blog viajaryamar.com or find out more about the worldchangers they are meeting as they travel on ashiftedperspective.com.