Jen’s Christmas List

After spending the last year living out of our backpacks, we have a pretty good idea of what we need and what we don’t. If you have a nomad, vanlifer, or frequent traveler in your life, this list may come in handy for you. If you have some extra cash floating around and feel like buying me a gift, these are the exact things I would like. ♥

Gift Cards

I know. I know. Gift cards are a boring gift to give, but with exactly 50 liters of space in my backpack, gift cards are truly the ideal space saver. And if we are already on the subject of convenience and simplicity, the only gift cards I want are for Amazon.

If your traveling buddy is far away, an e-gift card is great and has so far worked in every country that I have tried to use one in. However, if you are able to give a physical gift card, spruce that thing up with adorable packaging. My favorite is the Amazon Shipping Box. For no extra cost, this Amazon gift card comes in an adorable box shaped like a shipping box and has a magnetic lid. It is so cute! There are plenty of the other styles available, so be sure to check out the selection and enjoy the free added bling to your gifts.


“But Jen, I want to give my traveling friend a gift that will make them continue thinking about me for months after the holiday.” No worries! I have the perfect idea for you. It is the gift that keeps on giving: Memberships!

  • Netflix – A $50 gift card will pay for at least three months of unlimited viewing.
  • Google Play – A $50 gift card will pay for 3-5 months of unlimited music.
  • Audible – A $50 gift card will pay for at least three months of audio books.
  • Kindle Unlimited – A $50 gift card will pay for at least five months of unlimited reading.


We could not live the way we do if it wasn’t for our gadgets. They are our prized possessions and an integral part of our daily lives.

My goal over the last year was to focus on improving my photography and editing. I really enjoyed working on it and am now ready for my first “real” camera. The camera I have in mind is the Canon EOS Rebel. It is suggested as being a great starter camera, but still has twice the clarity of my phone.


The thing I get told the most is, “Jen, you should make more videos!” My heart just bursts every time I hear that; they’re time consuming and I always feel silly, so it makes me happy to receive positive feedback. However, making videos is no easy task, especially when I lack the proper equipment. I love my GoPro Hero5, but good video requires some accessories. So, if you want more videos, please consider buying your traveling friends (or me) a GoPro Karma Grip.

Besides for these two items, I am pretty well stacked for gadgets. If you are shopping for a friend that isn’t me, but may be like me, I suggest picking up some good power converters, a portable battery charger, and a heavy-duty phone case.

Clothes and Accessories

For the most part, my clothes need to be carefully chosen to make sure they fit the capsules I already have in place, so receiving clothes as a gift is a tricky business. However, I do find that I am always in need of basics like socks, underwear, and hair ties. Otherwise, my main issue in the clothing/accessory department is utility. I need more pockets!

I know it may sound crazy, but I am in desperate need of a fashion fanny. Things start getting a little too overwhelming when I have both my binoculars and my purse around my neck while walking up a hill. I would love a hands-free carrier with a bit of flair. I’m going to bring fanny packs back into style. You’ll see.

Keeping in the theme of fashion accessories, I have found that I could use a laptop case. Josh and I often make our way down to a local brewery or Starbucks with our computers in order to use the free Wifi, but to do so Josh ends up throwing my computer in with the rest of the contents of his backpack. It just seems like too much stuff floating around. I would love my own bag specifically made for keeping my computer safe.

We picked up a microfiber towel from our host in Chengdu, China and it was a life saver! I used it for the rest of the year for all of my toweling needs. It is well over a quarter the size of Josh’s towel and drys a million times faster. I will never travel without a microfiber towel again! The one we have is green. I would like to pass that one on to Josh and get a new pretty pink one for myself.

Wrap Up

The best part of this adventure has been our ability to spend more time with our family and friends. I can not express enough how much it has meant to us to get reconnected or better connected with all of the people we love and have neglected over the years due to “life happening”. Traveling can be lonely at times. Simply spending some quality time with your traveling friend is more than sufficient when it comes to holiday gift giving.

Honestly, the best gift I could receive from any of you, my lovely readers, is your continued support, shares, likes, and comments. I am only successful if I have fans reading my work. Support from my readers, family, and friends is what keeps us going.

P.S. If anyone is truly sending me Christmas gifts (OMG, Thank you!), please send them to Tammy’s house.


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