Travel Tech: What Not to Bring

Everything ya' don't want to have in your travel bag.

Ballito Free Surf
© Ryan Miller

There ain't a thing quite like the electricity of a long-awaited trip. Maybe it's the Ments, maybe it's Mex way, maybe it's a month in the bosom, literally, of France. Whatevs, you'll pack weeks in advance and you'll overthink and you'll overpack.

Want to know what not to take? Read below.

1. A serious novel. For the last doz years, I've always imagined serene midday siestas with face stuck in a Zola or Hugo or Cormack novel. An intellectual escape mixed with physical exertion. What balance! You want to know something? You won't touch that book-you've-always-meant-to-read. You'll surf twice, and thrice, a day and the in-between hours will be spent guffawing at youtube clips, picking at stubborn toenails and watching a loop of an old VHS cassette of Loose Change.

2. The gun. The miracle of modern surfing is it's possible to travel with one surfboard and ride anything from one to eight feet. That's seven-o you habitually travel with? The one you've spent thousands of airline charges on? The one you've never waxed? Two boards, max, and nothing over six-two.

3. Multiple trunks. Your gal, or your ma, washes and irons half a doz of your trunks for the trip. Everyone is excited for their little gladiator! But out there in there where the sun shines you'll wear the one pair – you'll sleep in 'em, you'll head into the local nightclub in em, you'll surf and hike and play ball in 'em, the cotton eventually reaching a climax of ecstatic stiffness by day 10.

4. Good shoes. A pair of slippers, max, unless you're having a swing at getting into biz class. No one wears shoes on a surf trip unless you've got an overnighter in Paris or London.

5. Morality. Oh, you're all piety now, tough guy, embracing your gal, writing morality checks no man can keep. But, out there, after two weeks in the dirt, you will become an animal. Your eyes will roll back into your head, your wallet will unsheathe itself, your tongue will wet, and you will do terrible things that will live with you until your dying breath. Savour it and don't moralise about it. And travel with pals who know how to keep what is, in the grand scheme of the universe, a harmless secret.