WHAT’S IN MY CARRY ON? ERIC ABTAN

Musician and consummate world traveler, he gave up his house! So it really is all about what he takes with him…

 

 

Musician and full-time traveler, Eric has, incredibly, managed to travel to every country in the world.

 

“I actually sold my home AFTER finishing the world map, since I realized by then that I had no need for a fixed home and that I didn’t miss any of my belongings, so I sold them all too,” the guitarist explains. He even acquires a guitar on-location so he doesn’t have to travel with it. “I only travel with minimal carry-on, usually a bag that weighs 5 kilos [approx. 11 pounds]. And that’s almost everything I own.”

 

For those who dream of ditching their cubicle and designing a life they love, take note: Eric actually did it. He blended his passion for music with his love for traveling and made an awesome life for himself. “I love travelling. The constant change ensures that I don’t get bored. Being a musician, I have to travel for engagements. So, naturally I choose the gigs in the places I want to visit. Feel like a cruise? Then I’ll play on a ship. How about a beach holiday in Egypt? Then it’s a hotel gig there.”

 

Let’s see what’s in this wandering troubadour’s carry-on.

 

 

In India, down by the river

 

 

Favorite carry-on bag: Tatonka Magpie Backpack

 

I’ve had this bag since 1999. When I decided to spend a bit more on a backpack, then I noticed that it didn’t fall apart after a year! It’s not only my carry-on, it’s all my baggage. I’ve never really needed more than that. It’s 24 liters and there’s always space left over.

 

 

Book you’re currently reading

 

Stringer from Anjan Sundaram.After years of travelling through Africa, it’s a fascinating and diverse place. If you plan to travel the world, leave Africa for last, otherwise the rest of the world will disappoint you.

 

 

Makeup bag/toiletry storage

 

Any ZipLoc bag I find, usually picked up at airport security.Because they’re free and easily replaceable.

 

 

Wallet

 

Never had a wallet. If it gets stolen, then everything is gone in one fell swoop.

 

 

Electronic devices/tablet/electronic reading device/phone

 

iPhone, iPad and laptop. iPhones and Apple products generally are great because they just work. The backup feature is great in case of breakage or theft. I just wish they would bring back the headphone jack. I’m not at the point where I can ditch my laptop, since an iPad is more for consuming media, and not flexible enough for proper work.

 

Headphones 

 

Shure SE-315. After years trying out various noise-cancelling models, these are better; they block out outside noise without introducing extra sound (which is the principle of noise cancellation), and these don’t even require a battery. I tried both the more expensive and cheaper models from Shure, and this one has the right balance of sound quality and price. Other friends I’ve turned on to them agree.

 

 

Glasses/Sunglasses

 

Never worn sunglasses, never seen the point. How did humans get along for thousands of years without them?

 

 

Water bottle

 

Anything disposable.Tap water is not drinkable in many of the places where I travel, so I have to buy the whole bottle and water anyway.

 

 

Anything specific to you that helps you get through the process?

 

Gin & Tonic. But it’s not something I carry in my bag…

 

 

Anything else you truly can’t travel without?

 

A sense of humor and a smile.

 

 

Listen to Eric’s music on YouTube