What I Packed for Remote Year

Fashion and travel blogger Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins shares a packing flat lay photo for what she brought along on Remote Year. She's wearing gingham sneakers and standing in the photo with white jeans surrounded by Bose headphones, books, vitamins, RXBars, polaroid photos, and other wellness items that focus on fitness and mindfulness.

One of the questions I’ve answered most over the last month has to be “How in the world did you pack for Remote Year?!” I’ll be sharing all of my tips for long-term packing when it comes to outfits and exactly what I packed clothing-wise on the blog soon (including daily outfits from here in Lima!), but today it’s all about the little things. Here’s a look at exactly what I packed to make this four month journey feel a little more like homeโ€ฆ

Jessica Sturdy shares her most mindful items to stay centered and focused on wellness while on the road. The 5 Minute Journal is a must both at home and on the road!

First up, my Five Minute Journal! Through thick and thin, both on trips and while at home, this journal has been a constant in my life over the last two years. Throughout this period of time thatโ€™s felt like one long rollercoaster, this journal has reminded me to be mindful each day and kept me feeling grounded and centered when life has not felt that way. I actually just got a brand new 5 Min Journal and started it the day that I left! I’m excited to have this fresh journal to look back at when reflecting on this trip! (And in some ways, I feel like it metaphorically makes sense to close one chapter and start the next.) Can’t take credit for this one, though, as it was actually my therapist who suggested the idea of getting a fresh one! Before I left, I was talking to my therapist about ways I could make sure to stay mentally healthy while on Remote Year, since I would be out of my usual routine with self-care, sessions, etc. She recommended the Five Minute Journal, not knowing that it’s been a part of my daily routine for a few years now. To be honest, without her nudge, I may have left it at home in favor of saving space (I think there’s an app version of the book), but I’ve really enjoyed having the hard copy with me so far. I’ve got another new notebook that I’ve been doing all of my long-form journaling in (thanks Amy!), but some days I’m just too tired to make the time to sit and journal all my thoughts. This 5 Minute Journal makes it easy though, as the five minutes are divided between morning and evening. It’s wonderful for setting intentions, appreciation, and reflection. Highly recommend whether you are traveling or not!

Another little daily thing… My You are a Badass Calendar! When I was looking around my room at what I used on a daily basis, it made me sad to think of not tearing a page off every day so I brought it along. It weighs next to nothing, and I’m really enjoying my mini morning routine of tearing a page off the calendar on my nightstand and jotting in my journal.

To be totally honest, I haven’t fully gotten into crystals (yet), but I’ve gone to a few crystal shops both on my travels and while home in Chicago and collected a few stones over the last nine months or so. I packed a little sachet filled with a few from my dresser for this trip with Remote Year… You never know, maybe they’ll play a role over the next few months, maybe they won’t. But they look pretty on my nightstand nonetheless!

Chicago-based travel blogger, Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins, shares what's on her must-pack list for Remote Year: Olly gummy vitamins, RXBars, and a whole lot more.

Even though I’m traveling and living abroad for four months, I still can’t get on board with a Kindle. (If/when I read more fiction books, I would totes get a Kindle. But I’m a self-helpy kind of gal, and I really enjoy the art of highlighting and really studying what I read.) I’m about to finish Eat Pray Love, which would have actually been totally fine on a Kindle, but I did pack a few more paperbacks that I want to get through while I’m gone. Next up is You’re Not Lost by Maxie McCoy! Perfect title and timing, huh?

When it comes to all of my vitamins and supplements, I didn’t want to let my healthy habits slide just because I was limited to living out of a suitcase over the next few months. I probably packed at least 5lbs worth of RXBars, individual almond butter packets, Vital Proteins collagen peptides, and a variety of Olly gummy vitamins. (Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m 29 years old, still eating gummy vitamins.) I brought Restful Sleep, Undeniable Beauty, Laser Focus, and a Multi-Vitamin. And in addition to the supplements, I also packed a ton of medicines just in case… I learned my lesson the hard way in Japan earlier this year! I’ve got three rounds of antibiotics, NyQuil & DayQuil, refill allergy meds, eye drops, probiotics and such, and probably more.

I felt kind of ridic packing so many supplements, but ya gotta do what works for you. With the change in water, diet, lifestyle, and environment all at once, I wanted to make sure I still felt and looked my best while away from home. I swear by Vital Proteins collagen peptides to keep my hair, skin, and nails looking 💯! I packed the Collagen Creamer meant for your coffee, which has actually worked out really well. The food here in Lima is insane… Like, next level good. It reminds me of New York in the fact that no matter where you go, it’s probably good AF. Since I’ve barely been cooking and eating out for all meals, I’ve been trying to balance the budget by not buying coffee. With our co-working membership at Comunal here in Lima, we get unlimited coffee all day so I’ve been putting the vanilla coconut creamer in my coffee every day for my collagen fix. Great way to make the black coffee taste a little bit more like the lattes I’d typically be buying! (I also packed the Melon Mint Beauty Water, which I’ll probably start using more when we get to Colombia and I run out of my Collagen Creamer.)

The good thing about packing all of this is that my suitcase actually gets lighter as I use up this stuff! Creates a bit more space for things I might want to pick up along the way, you know?

Health and beauty blogger Bows & Sequins shares her favorite beauty and wellness products for staying healthy while traveling. Jessica Sturdy packed Jen Sincero's You are a Badass daily calendar, a Mophie Powerstation XXL power bank charger, La Mer's Blue Heart Cream, and a variety of Vital Proteins collagen peptides travel packs for her Remote Year trip. Oh, and some Polaroid Mini Fujifilm pictures of friends and family back home!

Three More Must-Haves…

My Mophie Powerstation XXL: It’s a brick, but I use it almost daily. It holds ~20 iPhone charges (so I don’t have to charge it daily) and has three USB ports, so friends can charge, too. There is also a smaller size if you’re not quite in need of something this large!

My La Mer jar only had about a month left in it, but I brought it along anyway. (It is really heavy so it was actually kind of like a savings plan in terms of suitcase weight!) It’s my all-time favorite night-time moisturizer and I knew it would make me feel a little bit more luxe this first month here in Lima. I just finished it this week (😭) so I won’t be re-stocking it until I’m settling back in to Chicago in January. (Dear family, if you’re looking for a Christmas present… Pls remember this. Kthxbye.)

Miller Harris Rose Silence: I thought long and hard about whether I would pack my favorite perfume or not, but I’m really glad that I did. Sure, the glass bottle is heavy AF, but it makes me feel a little more like me every day. It’s my signature scent!

Travel blogger Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins shares what she packed for her 4 month trip with Remote Year. An Ostrich Pillow, Mophie Powerstation XXL, La Mer, Vital Proteins, RXBars, and lots of other health, wellness, and mindfulness items.

Top:  Ostrich Pillow  |  La Mer Blue Heart Creme  |  You are a Badass Calendar  |  moo Business Cards  |  Mophie Powerstation XXL  |  adidas Ultra Boost  |  Tin Candle  |  Silk Sleep Mask  ( + Claudie Pierlot Gingham Sneakers  |  Old Navy White Jeans)

Middle:  Le Specs Aviators  |  Bose Headphones  |  Miller Harris ‘Rose Silence’ Perfume  |  Vital Proteins Beauty Water  |  Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer  |  Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides  |  Fujifilm Mini Instax Colored Film  |  Five Minute Journal  |  Crystals  |  Colorblocked Pen  |  You’re Not Lost Book  |  Apple Macbook

Bottom:  Le Labo ‘Rose 31’ Toiletries  |  Canon G7X Camera  |  Grand Plans Folder  |  Rifle Paper Co Notebook  |  Lonely Planet Latin America Spanish  |  RXBars Almond Butter  |  Olly Gummy Vitamins  |  RXBars  |  ‘All Things Rosy’ Rose Gold Pencil Case

Jessica Sturdy shares a peek inside her suitcase for Remote Year! There's a Spanish dictionary, Vital Proteins collagen peptide, RXBars and almond butter, mini polaroids from friends back home, and even a few crystals.

I packed a few photos of friends and family from home taken on my FujiFilm Instax! It’s nice to have these to look through and make my apartment a little more homey. They’re not pictured here, but I actually packed two gingham pillow cases from Serena & Lily, too! I figured it would help add a cute little touch and I’m so glad that I did.

Health and wellness blogger Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins shares a few of her favorite items that she packed for Remote Year: You're Not Lost book by Maxie McCoy, blush pink adidas Ultra Boost sneakers, a rose candle, a rose gold Mophie phone charger, a gold MacBook, a millennial pink eye mask, the 5 Minute Journal, and RXBar's new Peanut Butter & Jelly flavor, and more.

A few more must-haves… A Silk Sleep Mask (you never know what the blackout blinds situation will be!) and my Adidas Ultra Boosts. I actually didn’t pack a travel candle so I picked up this Jasmine Rose tin candle at a little shop in the Barranco neighborhood of Lima! I loved the look of the pretty glass jars, but the tin keeps it light so I don’t have to worry about the weight in my suitcase.

Beauty blogger Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins shares her must-haves for long term travel: Miller Harris Rose Silence perfume, Le Labo Rose 31 bath products, Vital Proteins collagen peptides, collagen creamer for coffee, and beauty water, plus a Grand Plans folder to keep it all organized, and mini polaroid pictures.

I picked up these folders at Art Effect on Armitage before I left Chicago to have a little bit of business organization while I’m away! They’re great for organizing papers, receipts, travel documents, etc. (I actually don’t know the brand, but these are similar.)

My Bose Headphones are always on my travel must-have list! (See everything I pack in my carry-on in this post!) They’re noise cancelling which comes in handy almost every day while working in a shared space, not just travel days.

I packed a few sets of Le Labo toiletries as little luxuries on this journey, too. You know I’m a big fan of baths and since I’m not able to take any for a few months until I get back in my apartment, these mini Shampoos, Conditioners, Body Wash, and Body Lotions make showering feel a little more like a pampering sesh. The nice thing is that I can toss them in the recycling as I go and free up suitcase space!

Last, but certainly not least, is my Ostrich Pillow. I can’t travel without it! It’s made my public sleeping stints immeasurably more comfortable. One part eye mask, one part ear cover, one part pillow, all parts hilarious to wear.

Chicago lifestyle blogger, Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins, shares what she packed to go on Remote Year. Some of her favorite health and wellness items include Vital Proteins collagen, Olly vitamins, RXBars, the 5 Minute Journal, You are a Badass daily calendar by Jen Sincero, the Ostrich Pillow, La Mer face creme, and more.

And, of course, I packed it all into my trusty Away bag! I’ll be sharing more about packing soon… The luggage I brought, everything I packed clothing-wise, as well as sharing all of my daily outfit snaps from Peru this past month! Stay tuned, my friends. Lots more to come! xx jrs

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  1. 9.28.18
    Briana said:

    I am not into crystals either, but they look so pretty!


  2. 9.29.18
    Rena said:

    You are so conscious in packing! And like you I don’t like it to read with a Kindle – I still prefer books ๐Ÿ™‚
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena