I can't travel without these 3 packing essentials
2.) Cocoa butter lotion. I've been obsessed with the Body Shop since I was a small child and it represented the best of the exotic offerings of the big city, with such intriguing concoctions like carrot and papaya skin products. I started getting cocoa butter products for Christmas and birthdays and it has always been my go-to skin lotion. I've also used their shower cream, solid lotion sticks, body butter, and lip balm. It has doubled as a hair conditioner for me and even - crazy! - to polish up a pair of scruffy shoes. One time it backfired - in Malawi. It was so, so, so hot that the lotion just sat on top of my skin and the heat seemed to magnify the scent. Probably didn't help that all my toiletries were cocoa butter products. It actually took me a few years to get over the intense association between the smell of cocoa butter and my early struggles adjusting to life in Africa - I'd smell the lotion and feel almost panicky! Fortunately, the passing years have reunited me with this product and have mellowed out my memories.
3.) The purple plush bunny. This little key chain bunny was an early acquisition from the Herstmonceaux International Study Centre, in East Sussex, where I spent a semester abroad as part of my undergraduate studies. This was my first really big trip and I loved my time in the English country side and all things associated with English gardens - especially lavender As you can see below, the bunny is holding a little mesh sack which at one time contained lavender scented pellets. The smell is long gone, but I've remedied this by adding a few drops of essential oils. The bunny is attached to a mini mag-light flash light (ultra helpful in Africa!), a Worthington's beer promo bottle opener which I picked up at the Study Centre's pub (where I later worked), a set of nail clippers, and a leather key chain from my alma mater of Queen's University. This little guy has been with me for every trip and made his debut when I went on my first solo trip around Europe when I was finished my semester. A stuffed animal is always worth the space in your pack, in my opinion. For more intimidating trips, like Malawi, I also brought along a larger, homemade stuffed purple bunny I picked up at a gift shop on Cape Clear Island, Ireland. Never underestimate the ability of a purple plush bunny to soothe a troubled soul!
What are the three items you can't live without? Are there any that have been with you since day one?