Apparently, first-time travellers to Thailand travel way too heavy. They say you can get literally anything in the country. Fair enough, I will leave my 85L backpack behind and go for the small 45L bag, one that you can actually go backpacking with! (Might elaborate on the modern interpretation of backpacking some other time).

The big one was good enough to hold 20kg to the gram when I travelled to Oz in 2005. However, I was heading out there for a year and the bag was stuffed with a few uni books, quite some clothes and – yes – a few pairs of shoes (my entire shoe wardrobe).  I left the much-adored espresso maker at home, though. The same bag was a little too much for my liking on a five-week trip to the US in 2003. Too bulky to actually do backpacking, but it had to hold clothes for a very cold New Jersey and a boiling hot Florida.

The small one is good to travel home to my parents’ for Chrissie, when it has to carry snowboard trousers, gloves, loads of warm socks and Christmas presents. It’s usually very forgiving for going on weekend trips when you want to be prepared for any occasion. This would include packing a hair dryer, sleeping bag (although mine is really tiny), or tons of camping gear when staying outdoors.

This trip then seems to fall in-between the bulky and the weekend load. What will I need? A few tees, pair of shorts, a week’s supply of undies and socks, a pair each of trekking sandals and thongs (flip-flops for yez pommies). Long trousers, a jumper and proper shoes you wear during the flight. Leaves loads of space to consider the small bag. A few technology items like phone and camera gear, mozzie net and matress blanket (for a country that boasts of having just anything to buy cheap, that one’s a bit of a question mark) are optional, but frequently recommended.

That would – probably for the first time – leave me with the freedom of hiking in-between towns if I feel like it. Or at least it makes hostel hopping a hell of a lot easier if the one I have in mind is booked out. Just jumping on a songthaew with all that you have – that’s what I’m looking forward to.

Geez, that’s really light travel.