Wherever I go, I make trails – of my stuff. Meaning I always leave things behind. I’m just that disorganized about gear. It’s a curse. I put something down, my mind’s already on the next thing, and out the door I go. I do this at home with drinking glasses, mugs and laundry. I have left perfectly good, not-cheap water bottles in the Old City of Jerusalem and at the outdoor used book stalls in Valparaiso, Chile, only discovering my mistake when I’m, say, in the desert or Patagonia. An Egyptian cruise boat snagged a T-shirt. More trains and buses have swallowed more of my snacks than I have. Thankfully I’ve never (knock wood) lost anything major – I manage to hold on to my shoes, pack and sleeping bag (though I think I did sacrifice sneakers to Europe one summer).

The one that kills me, though, is the pack towels. I love them – so thin and light, so absorbent and yet quick drying. I hate traveling wet. I love traveling fast and light. It’s totally a travel geek thing, but there it is. And yet, I loose them. All. The. Time. I should invest in my own towel company – except Rick Steves already has.

What do you lose?

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