what we wish we would have packed

For our last few days in Barcelona, we were hosted at El Palauet Living, an apartment-style hotel right in the center of the city with the kind of high ceilings and open spaces you almost never get in an urban center. The aesthetic was white and clean and simple, and if you follow us on Instagram I’m sure you already know that the views from the roof deck, particularly at night, are a 10 out of 10.


We thought it would be fun to mix it up a little today and do a blog post centered around something we’ve learned from our travels so far. This one is going to be short, as we’re on our way to dinner at our new favorite Mexican restaurant in Palma de Mallorca and kind of just feel like filling you guys in instead of going through the humdrum and formality of our normal posting style. So here it is, today’s topic: 5 things we wish we had packed when leaving for our trip around the world (these are in no particular order by the way, although Porter would put the toothpaste at #1).


#1: Water Purifying Water Bottles


In most of the cities we’ve been traveling to in Europe, the tap water is perfectly safe and healthy to drink, and when we’re in these places we are so so grateful because we have water bottles, and it just makes life so much easier and allows us to consume so much less plastic. Also, let’s be real, ordering bottled water to your room in a nice hotel or even buying it from local grocers or pharmacies can add up pretty quickly, especially when your husband drinks about 10 bottles a day. Porter and I are both hoping that by the time we leave for the next leg of our journey, we’ll have those intense water bottles that can purify and filtrate even ocean water into something you can drink (not that we’re planning on drinking from streams). In the islands in Europe especially, we were surprised to realize that they strongly advocate that you don’t drink the water, as it’s really not safe for longterm consumption (we found this to be the case in Mallorca, Mykonos, Santorini, etc.). I get that if you’re just going on vacation to these places or for a short stint the bottled water thing might not have time to start to bug you, but for those leading a traveling-lifestyle, it probably might.


#2: A Higher-Powered Portable Charger


We brought along kind of a rinkydink one-charge portable charger for your iPhone, but on long travel days split between two people, two iPads and two iPhones, it isn’t good for a whole lot. I know you’re thinking “Why don’t you just find an outlet in your terminal on travel days?”Believe me, this is definitely not as easy every time as it should be. Why do I feel like they always put outlets halfway up the wall next to the women’s room? We need to get some minds on that. Next leg we’ll be bringing a hardcore backup charger that works not just for tablets and iPhones, but for our computers, too. Hopefully it’ll be the kind that can hold two or three full computer charges so we can get some work done on plane rides, as well (if you’ve experienced the devastation of reaching for an iPad or computer in the air only to realize it’s at 1% and you’re going to be bored for the next four hours, you likely get where we’re coming from).


#3: Less Clothing


The title of this one is pretty self-explanatory, but even living out of just one bag each we both feel like we still have too much clothing. When you really get used to minimalism, you realize that you don’t need one pair of white jean shorts and one pair of blue jean shorts, you just need one pair of shorts. Also, when you’re packing and unpacking every three days or so, the less you have the happier you’ll be. I’m so sick of this one pair of shoes that Porter brought that seem to weigh twice as much as his other three pairs and don’t have any give which means I’m constantly having to rearrange them to get the zipper on his luggage shut. Safe to say, they won’t be coming along for the next journey. I also don’t know why I thought I needed three different light jackets (although one is a raincoat). I’ll probably be paring that down to a single one, as well.


#4: A Manilla Envelope


On travel days, Porter and I both have a backpack each where we keep our electronics and the passports and other travel day-y items (like cinnamon gum). Every couple of weeks, I kind of tear through my backpack, throwing away receipts, ticket stubs, and whatever else has accumulated over time. It always kind of hurts my heart a little because I don’t want to be getting rid of those boarding passes and train tickets and wristbands to museums we’ve visited. I’m not sentimental, but I think a part of me hoped if I collected them all I could do something with them someday. Maybe in a shadow box or something like that (I’m not incredibly artsy outside of photography, but I have an older sister that can be very easily convinced into doing any project that requires a lot of organization, so in reality I’d probably have her do it…& it would turn out way better than if I tried to myself). The next leg, I’m going to bring a big manilla envelope so I can put all those things into one spot without feeling like my life is getting cluttered, and simultaneously preserve those tangible reminders of so many good memories.


#5: Our Favorite Brand of Toothpase


I wouldn’t say Porter and I are picky about alot – I don’t mind using whatever hair dryer happens to be in our hotel room or whatever shampoo or conditioner they provide. We both love a whole different range of foods and aren’t off-put by being on a constant rotation of different bedrooms and cities and countries and cultures. One thing we’ve realized we both really prefer to have our own brand of though, is toothpaste. We both fall in the minority category of people who prefer baking soda style toothpaste to mint (I think I have my older sister to thank for this). It’s the only toothpaste we absolutely love the taste of and the only one that simultaneously feels long lasting and effective. It will probably add a bit of weight to our luggage, but next leg we are for sure bringing 5 or 6 tubes of our favorite organic brand from home. I know that sounds kind of bratty, but sometimes little things that bring back the comfort of home really do make a big difference in your overall comfort when you’re on the road.


We’re leaving for Marrakech tomorrow morning and are getting really excited to experience something very different from Europe. It will be my first time in Africa, and we’re spending a week in the city before heading out into the desert and Atlas mountains for a few days….but before that we’ll be sharing lots of photos from our time in Mallorca!


Hope you enjoy the pics!




Anna Lisa & Porter


*Thank you to El Palauet Living for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts & opinions remain our own.



  1. Christine Leahy says:

    You have discovered some truly remarkable properties and captured them beautifully!

  2. Totally agree that water purifying bottles are a must!!!

Comments are closed.

subscribe to recess city:


  • Wearing a top made out of recycled plastic a bracelethellip
  • Sharing a bit more on who we are amp whathellip
  • Travel is the most beautiful way to realize what ahellip
  • One of the questions I like to ask myself beforehellip
  • Were not going to ever be able to achieve thehellip
  • Were gearing up for flying halfway around the world inhellip

Brands We Love


Girlfriend Collective                                     Soko                                                   DL1961                                                         St. Agni Studios                                           Reformation                                                 Rode to Nowear                                                  


Nisolo                                                   Scotch & Soda                                       Cotopaxi                                             Mews                                               Alternative Apparel                                     Thinking Mu