Innovation In A Backpack

April 2017 I started a journey to Australia for a role in rural and regional Queensland as an Entrepreneur in Residence under the RAPAD umbrella.



Since then I’ve had the opportunity to continue travelling the world with some trips for fun others in the innovation and entrepreneurship.

Before you leave the USA or your home country be sure to:

  • Setup a Transferwise account if you plan to have a USA bank account while abroad (keep your existing bank account, you may need it) . DO NOT pull out your USD and get a cashier check for deposit in a foreign country because you’ll be delayed 2-3 weeks in the transfer of funds and pay too much for currency conversion a sub midmarket rates. Taking a physical check to a foreign country is a lengthy process and doesn’t make much financial sense.
  • Renew your library subscription so you can download digital items while away. Most libraries have you renew every 2-3 years, so do it your last week in town and ask for their longest extension.
  • Set your old cell phone to a prepaid plan with an extended date of return if you want to keep your phone number. AT&T was really helpful with this and extended my old post paid plan to a $0.25USD/min plan with an account balance and a next activity date a year from departure. Verizon, Sprint and others my have something similar if you ask.
  • Setup a virtual phone number via Google Voice so you can have access to USA based texting just with a data connection.
  • Setup WhatsApp to your USA number before you disconnect text messaging on it and can get the confirmation number via a text message.
  • Get a VPN that works on your phone and laptop. I purchased an unlimited and multi-device via Keep Solid.
  • Get Global Entry – for $100USD it gives you quick entry back into the USA and avoid the long lines when entering the USA from abroad. Global Entry also provides for TSA Precheck to speed up departures at USA airports too on either international or domestic TSA security lines. Quite possibly the best $100 I have spent in a long time.
  • Check your electronics and see if they require just the 110V or can also operate at 220V. You’ll notice this on the back of the unit and will usually just say 110V-220V as the operating range and can handle any voltage. Select few items won’t have the ability to use both 110V & 220V.

Here’s my packing list

  • Osprey Porter 46 (via Amazon or slightly smaller Osprey Farpoint 40)
  • Osprey daypack (via Amazon)
  • Klean kanteen (Wanderlust) water bottle or similar with sports (via Amazon)
  • Powercube with 2xUSB and elastic cable ties
  • Converter (more than an adapter — it can handle multiple voltages)
  • Macbook Pro with charging cable & display adapters (at least HDMI, maybe VGA)
  • Cell phone with ability to change out a sim or dual SIMs
  • Headphones with travel pouch
  • Sonicare toothbrush and charger; I just wish it had a USB charger
  • Trimmer
  • Glasses & sunglasses in a case (if you wear them)
  • Towel
  • Shaving kit filled with
  • Clothing soap bar
  • Plastic spoon
  • Silicon collapsible container (via Amazon)
  • iPad with case that doubles as a stand and the following apps
    • Switcher Studio with 14 day free trial
    • Amazon Kindle App & eBook public Library subscription
    • Netflix
  • Shoes
    • Athletic/gym like FiveFingers
    • Boots
    • Sandals
  • Clothing
    • Merino wool shirts
    • Merino wool underwear
    • Merino wool socks (Darn Tough is my go-to brand)
    • Shorts (casual khaki)
  • Gym attire (shorts & wicking shirt)
  • Jeans
  • Belt
  • Lacrosse ball for self-massage and relieving muscle tension
  • Eye mask & earplugs
  • Swim Goggles (if you swim)