Here are 7 things in my carry-on during my trip to Papua New Guinea. I really wish I took a note of these things more often, the contents of a bag can tell a story, so here is mine:
Wood Carvings. The ebony carvings crafted by the talented Trobriand Islands are of an exceptionally rare quality, it took some searching to find them but well worth it the effort. My favourite is this Trobriand warrior.
Phrase List because It’s always a bit of fun knowing the local lingo. Tok Pisin is a great language, I picked up a few words to impress the locals, such as:
▪ Tenk you tru – Thank you very much
▪ Inap mi kisim piksa? – May I take a photo?
▪ Mi nek drai – I’m thirsty
▪ Kaikai – Eat
and that’s about all I mastered this time.
Tropical Strength Insect Repellent – it didn’t work. Mosquitos love me.
Bilum Bag – a bilum is a handmade string bag from Papua New Guinea. They have a strap that can be slung across the forehead to keep the hands free for use. Bilum are used to carry babies, vegetables, schoolbooks, spare parts for bikes, water bottles… I just love the colourful designs.
Jo Malone Fragrance. Always necessary. Jo Malone perfumes are able to overpower offensive odour (of me, of the person next to me, what have you) without leaving a sickly smell hanging around. Blackberry & Bay was my scent of choice for this expedition.
Book. Francois Bizot, The Gate. I needed plenty of good books during a long trip to PNG with no wifi. The Gate is a in intriguing account of Anthropologist Bizot’s survival in a Khmer Rouge prison during Cambodia’s civil war. It’s exciting stuff. I’m never lonely with a book, it’s like having an old friend.
Hand wipes. Marks & Spencer makes the best wet towels in the business, they smell just like fresh lemons. I use them for everything, especially wiping down the tray table and arm rests of my plane seat. They always come with me, wherever I go.
More importantly, I am taking many happy memories back with me. The beautiful beaches, tribal dances from the deepest jungle, fresh rambutans, friendly little locals. Next time you get home from an adventure, take a moment to look through your bag before unpacking and relive the experience.