Category Archives: Travel Planning

Packing list for a family of three

We expect to be gone for more than 12 months and are departing for our adventure on January 2nd, 2013. Because we will be traveling for my work on (more about this startup mentioned in this post), malady I have to pack my “office” in a backpack. I used Evernote to write out my packing list and have my packing list separated into five  sections:

  1. Work Equipment
  2. Clothing for our family
  3. Toiletries & personal care items
  4. Travel documents
  5. Entertainment items & toys
  6. Snacks for traveling

1. Work Equipment

For me, viagra this is the most essential part for what I need to run my current business, Town Web Design, and to develop the Marina Reservation System of It consists of the following essentials:

  • Macbook Pro retina (late 2013 model)
    I opted for the 256 GB hard drive because 128 GB wouldn’t be enough for me. I am not going to be doing much video editing, so I went with the standard 8 GB of RAM versus splurging for the 16 GB.
  • iPhone 5
    32 GB. The new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c came out in Fall 2013, and I was able to buy a slightly older and unlocked Verizon version of the iPhone 5 from a reputable seller on eBay for around $350.
  • Charger & cables
    This includes one lightening charger for the iPhone, USB/iPad cable for my iPad 3, and a USB to mini-USB. The AmazonBasics lightening charger that I linked to is the exact same one I bought. It has a ton of 5-star reviews and the price is now only around $11.00 for the 3 ft cable. It is also a thick rubber cable which I expect to last longer than the original Apple version. The only poor reviews about this cable that I noticed on Amazon were about the width of the plastic housing around the end that plugs into the iPhone. People said they had to shave it down for it to fit their iPhone case. It worked for me without any modification, but I had a rubber/plastic cover for my iPhone.
  • Yubi Key
    Because of traveling internationally and with the risk of having all my accounts linked, I use the combination of LastPass and the Yubi Key to ensure that access to my web sites is secure and authenticated by me.
  • Small Journal. I write down my daily work activities in a 5.5″ x 8″ journal. Sometimes this is an Evernote journal.
  • Variety of Nice Pens. When writing things down, it’s really a pleasure to use nice writing instruments. I was fortunate enough to receive an awesome Fischer Space Pen. It is shaped like a small torpedo and is metallic, so I hope it does not cause any problems while going through airport security (!)
  • Universal Adapter
    This is an essential item to have when traveling. This item had high reviews on Amazon and for just $3.25/each, I bought one for myself and one for my wife. It was shipped from Hong Kong so make sure to buy one well before your travels.
  • Plantronics Audio 478 Stereo USB Headset
    This is another very essential item to bring with and it does not cost a lot of money. The headset is a simple over-the-ear headset and has a noise-canceling microphone to allow for better quality calls. It also folds down and comes with its own pouch for nice packing
  • iPad. I have an iPad 3, 16 GB, and am using it less and less since getting an iPhone. I like using it for my MindMapping software (I prefer to use iThoughtsHD), but find the iPad a bit bulky now for day-to-day use. Instead, it is becoming used more and more by my son, ZamZam, who watches cartoon videos on YouTube.
  • Case Logic DLBP-114 Backpack. I have the 14″ model, which is very well suited for fitting all the above essentials without being bulky. I really like the separate pockets, and the quick adjusting straps are great since I use this backpack in all seasons and can adjust it easily if I’m wearing a thick winter jacket or just a T-shirt. If I could buy it over again, I’d buy the red color version so that it would stand out more. 

2. Clothing for Our Family

In order to ensure that we do not overpack by bringing things that we will not really use that often, or which we can find substitutes in the destination countries, we are just going to bring the things that we need for one week. After all, we are going to do laundry in our destination, so there is no need to bring more than five days worth of clothes.

3. Toiletries & personal care items

We are bring some Advil and dental floss, because it’s not always easy to find these items. I am also a fan on shaving the old fashioned with with a DE razor, so I’m packing several dozen DE razor blades and some shaving soap.

4. Travel documents

5. Entertainment items & toys

ZamZam received some Thomas the Train and wooden tracks for Christmas. So we are bringing a bunch of these along for him to play with for our travels.

I’m bringing my Kindle. Janeth is bringing a MacBook Air so she can watch her Filipino TV shows over the internet, Facebook, and chat with her family in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

6. Snacks for traveling

For the first part of our journey, we are bringing the following:

  • Gum for ZamZam to chew in the plane ride so he doesn’t have pain in his ears
  • Ritz crackers because ZamZam needs something to snack on in between regular meals
  • Cereal in a bag for a variation of his snacks
  • Several yoghurts
  • Nuts
  • Apples to eat in the airport

Our Family

It is the end of December 2013 and our adventure for 2014 is about to start. My wife Lasira (Janeth), look my son Zamir, sales and I are going to take part in a 12-18+ month adventure of living outside of the United States. The main reason for the trip is for me to develop and launch, my new startup. The success of the company is built around establishing a foothold in the European market. You can read more about the details of this business on the About page.

Our Family

Our family currently consists of the three of us. Myself (Dustin), my wife Lasira (Janeth), and our son Zamir, who we call ZamZam for short. One unique thing about our trip is that after having purchased tickets for the three of us earlier in the year, my wife and I discovered that we are expecting another child in March 2014. We will be in Bra?ov, Romania for the birth of our new child.

Our Adventure Starts from Door County, Wisconsin

I grew up in Door County, Wisconsin, which is an area of only 28,000 residents. The population in Door County swells in the summer months and the area hosts more than three million tourists each year.

Door County is a great place to raise a family. The schools are pretty good, the cost of living is relatively low, so is the crime, and one can buy a nice three bedroom house for around  $75,000 – $100,000 USD, which compared to other parts of the US — apart from Detroit, Michigan — is quite a steal. This area also attracts retired couples, many of whom become snowbirds and go to Arizona or Florida for the winter.

Traveling is in our Blood

My wife Janeth and I first met back in 2005 while I was working in Asia for a Chinese manufacturer in Suzhou.  Janeth is originally from the Philippines but was also working in Bahrain for about six years. We met in Boracay, Philippines, and later moved to a place called Antipolo, Philippines, which is a 50 minute ride away from downtown Manila

I had previously spent chunks of time in Europe when I was in college in the 90s. My first trip was to a small town in Spain called Burriana, which was arranged through our local Rotary Club. Later on I studied abroad in Germany, back to Valencia, Spain, then took part in a university exchange program to Leeuwarden, Netherlands. My first job out of college was teaching English for Inlingua in Modena, Italy and also working in the overseas export department of Marazzi Ceramica in Sassuolo, Italy. I was 24 years old at the time and had such a rich and wonderful experience in Europe. I always wanted to go back for a long period.

I turned 40 years old in early December 2013 and felt satisfied that we were taking the plunge and that my wife was onboard with everything. Being able to work remotely was something I had been working toward for many years with my current business, which I explain a bit in this post. And being able to work on the business was a great opportunity to thrust ourselves in the heart of Europe and develop a great new product.

ZamZam is only two and a half years old, but he is growing up in a multicultural surrounding, even from within Door County. His mother is Filipino, but she hails from the Yakan tribe (link to Wikipedia article). We both agreed that she would speak to him mainly in her native tongue, Yakan. There is also a Filipino community here, and he gets exposed to Tagalog at the holiday gatherings. Not only that, but for the time he went to the babysitter, he was exposed to the Pashto language, which was only spoken to him. It was funny because one time at home he asked for “uba”, which I assumed was the word for “water” in Pashto.