“Brandon,” you might ask, shyly, trying not to be distracted by my devilishly handsome smirk “What is the weirdest thing you travel with?”
Or you might not, but in this post I’m going to figure that out and tell you anyway.
To start, I have a paraglider, and with it, all the requisite safety equipment – radio, helmet, hook knife in case I land in the water, etc. That’s pretty weird, a sentiment which really hits home when I’m in a town with no flying and I’m lugging a 44 pound bag around. Because of the minimum weight of my paraglider, I spend a lot of time thinking about what to pack for long trips.
I used to carry my cowboy boots, which made the worlds most comfortable dress shoes, but I decided that as part of letting go of attachments, I should leave them behind for this trip. I actually searched pretty frantically for some lighter dress shoes to bring along, before I realized that I like flip flops better.
It’s not the boots. It’s also not the three cameras I bring with me, when one would probably be enough for 95% of the photos I take. It’s not the bag of too many adapters, or even the 6 feet of string.
No, I think the weirdest thing I carry with me has to be my Shakti Mat. For the uninitiated, this thing is a rectangular piece of soft foam, encased in orange cloth, and encrusted by over three thousand little plastic spikes. It’s basically a portable bed of nails. This is weird. I get it, this is weird. I mean, a bed of nails is a weird thing to own, period. That’s some Adams Family stuff right there. What’s even weirder is, I got rid of around 98% of my possessions, but somehow this thing made the cut – this thing is worth carrying all over the globe with me in my already way-too-full bag.
And indeed, it is. Because out of all the well-researched sleep equipment I have – the world’s best sleep mask, the world’s best earplugs, the world’s most portable sleep hypnotist, this think takes the cake. If I lie on this mat, the 3,000 little spikes biting somewhat painfully into my bare back, my muscles relax, and I start to fall asleep. I have, in fact, slept on it a number of times, but that’s really not necessary.
Keep in mind – this isn’t some kind of masochistic auto-flagellant thing I’m doing, it’s SCIENCE. Well, I’m not so sure on the science, really, but it works.
I’m actually thinking quite hard about something weirder that I have with me, but no, I’m pretty sure that’s it.