As a one-bag traveler, it feels weird to pack SO much luggage for my upcoming trip, but I am, essentially, moving to Asia from January til June. First however, a bit of background.
Prior to the pandemic, nearly 40% of my small business' earnings came from clients in Asia - in other words, in January of 2020, with a snap of a finger, I lost nearly half of my income for several years, so last year (2023), the moment all borders opened back up, I sailed to Asia to try and win back the clients I lost pre-covid.
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So in the first half of my 2023 trip, I was truly nomadic - just one bag, one sling, and a bunch of business hotels across Tokyo, Jakarta, Manila, Taipei, and Taichung. It wasn't until the halfway point that I found a long-term rental in Taipei which allowed me to save quite a bit on ping-ponging across hotels between client and vendor meetings in different countries.
So this coming 2024 trip, I reached back out the the landlord of that long term rental in Taiwan a few months ago once I had my confirmed flight dates, and they said, yes indeed, that I could rent their place for the entirety of my trip which means, unlike last year of planning to be a nomad, this year, I have a true home base.
Because I want to keep uploading videos to YouTube while I'm abroad (weekly if possible), having that home base is awesome because it means I'll be able to pack and setup most of my YouTube gear, hence why the photo for this blog post has so much luggage - which will be split like this:
My flight from home here in Toronto, I'll be - as usual - using the Pakt Travel Backpack V2 as my "carry-on" luggage (labeled 1 in the photo above), and the Alpaka Bravo Sling Max as my allotted "personal item" (labeled 2 in the photo above) - both of which will accompany me on the airplane from YYZ to TPE.
The Monos Carry-On-Pro (labeled 3 in the photo above) will actually be empty, and will be checked in along with the Monos Check-In Large (labeled 4 in the photo above). The large check-in luggage is where all my non-battery powered YouTube gear will go, along with some extra clothes beyond my minimalist one-bag travel Merino wool stuff, mainly to protect the gear inside.
The Carry-On-Pro (labeled "3"), although checked in, will be empty because I think there are so many unique Everyday Carry items found throughout Asia, and I want to fill that suitcase up to bring back to Toronto to have some awesome YouTube subscriber giveaways when I return home in June.
By the way, Monos has been kind enough to let me share a 10% discount for a limited time, and you can claim that discount by using the code MAURICEMOVES at checkout, however...
The last thing I want is for you to blindly spend money - after all, my use-cases may be wildly different from yours. As usual, I'd like to ask that you please do your own research to ensure anything you plan on spending money on will serve you well. After all, 10% off for something that's useless to you, is still 90% spent unwisely.
But again, both Monos rolling luggages ("3" and "4" in the photo above) will only be taken on two flights - the one from Toronto to Taiwan in a few days, and the one from Taiwan back home to Toronto in June. All my very frequent trips between Taiwan and Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, and anywhere else I may choose to visit on a whim, I will of course, be doing one-bag travel with just the bags ("1" and "2" in the photo above).
YouTube is the hobby that's given the greatest fulfillment to me, and it's so funny to me that the only reason I'm bringing these two rolling hard shell luggages is entirely to enable me to continue creating videos for the channel while I'm abroad, haha - if I didn't make YouTube videos, the Pakt Travel Backpack and the Alpaka Bravo Sling Max are the only bags I'd need.
By the way, I've made dedicated videos for all of my luggage:
VIDEO: Pakt Travel Backpack V2 [LINK]
VIDEO: Alpaka Bravo Sling Max [LINK]
VIDEO: Monos Carry-On Pro [LINK]
So what exactly is the nature of the trip?
Of course, client and vendor meets for the metal fabrication business, but also, I've been dabbling in thinking of creating my own EDC line, and so I'll be visiting manufacturers and factories as I start planning for my own designed softgoods.
I've never felt like the typical "logo t-shirts" as "merch" resonated with me - mainly because the business model for YouTube channels relies heavily on processes like Print-On-Demand, and I personally don't think that a t-shirt with my channel logo on it would actually give any real value nor fulfillment to anyone.
I'd much rather thoughtfully design things that not only benefit me from everyday use and everyday carry that actually solve challenges I have, and hope that they also solve challenges for others.
Who knows if they'll be well-received or be gigantic flops, but one key tenet I've always followed when trying to design products is "to scratch my own itch". If there is a product I wish existed which doesn't, or, exists but just doesn't hit all of my "must-haves", even if it ends up failing as a business, at the very least, with the prototypes, I will have solved a challenge that was worth it for me to solve.
I think I'll also upload some videos of my journey of making these products since I'm not legally allowed (by contract) to share details of my client projects, haha, but stay tuned for not JUST everyday carry reviews and videos, but of course, travel content and content on entrepreneurship.
It's always bittersweet to leave home for so long, but I figure, before I have kids, now's the time to do in-person business abroad.
As usual, thanks for reading, and hope you'll continue to spend some of your valuable time hanging out with me on YouTube every now and then.