My favourite 3 multi-use travel accessories

I never leave home (or Canada, anyway) without them.

  1. Swiss Army Knife: Almost left home without it this time, but my fairly small knife includes scissors (for cutting thread, nails, and hair, etc), a knife (for cutting things, duh, but also is my mirror), tweezers, a toothpick, a pen, corkscrew, and flat screwdriver.
  2. Tiger Balm: Great for soothing aching muscles, but my most common use for it is to offset cigarette smoke smells. On a bus or other confined space where people smoke, swabbing the inside of my nostrils with Tiger Balm leaves me smelling camphor and menthol instead. And makes my eyes water for a reason other than smoke.
  3. The bottom 4 inches of one leg of yoga pants: Sounds silly, but this stretchy, band of black fabric is a great headband or sweat-wiper. My favourite and most common use, however, is as a sleeping mask (and earplug holder-inner).

When I was away for a year back in 2004-2005, I might have said my favourite accessory was my bandana. My undying compassion for this bandana can be witnessed in my first published (ie on my travelblog) poem, written shortly after the bandana was lost in Thailand. I leave you with:

Lament on Lost Bandana

Thou shieldedth mine head from the Sun,
when its rays powerethd o’er me;

Thou hidth mine eyes at night, when light
from halls and streets pouredth onto
mine bed;

Thou removedth the wetness from mine brow,
when the air, so moist and warm,
bringethd mine skin to sweat;

I showedth thee compassion;
I washedth thee with mine two hands to
removeth the stench I bringethd unto thee;
I carried thee nearst mine breast, so
as never to loseth thee.

But nay!
My concern did waneth but for a moment;
On the people mover betwixt Hot and Mae Sariang;
In my hast of disembarkment, I lost thee.

For two score less four weeks thou hadst
been my companion.

But no more.

I wilst remember thee fondly,
in pictures and in thought;
I darest not replaceth thee,
for none could compare;

Thy soft texture,
Thy brilliant emerald colour,
Thy absorption capabilities.

Nay! None other would suffice.

Alas, farewell mine bandana.
Mine lament groweth strong,
but not in strength to mine love for thee.

Dedicated to my bandana, companion in travels
Feb 17 2004 – Oct 29 2004