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Nicole, and her husband Michael, are an Australian couple in who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 13 months and see no end in sight. They recently launched Suitcase Stories, a website where they share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. Their main goal for this website is to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable. You can follow their journey on Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest also.


Interview With “Under-Packer” Nicole From Suitcase Stories




Q: How would you describe your travel style?

That’s a hard one! I’m not a backpacker but at the same time I’m not a 5 star traveler either. So I guess I fit somewhere in the middle!


Q: Do you prefer to travel with carry-on or with a regular size suitcase – do you recommend any specific style or brand?

I have a carry on size case and a small purse. However, most of the time I check my carry on so I do not have to worry about my skin care being confiscated because they are over 100 mls. I wouldn’t be happy if I had to throw out my skin care!


Q: Do you tend to overpack?

I would call myself an ‘under packer’! When I was researching long term travel, everyone said “pack light”. Well, I think I took that too literally because all my worldly possessions now fit into a carryon size bag! It’s very easy to carry though so I’m so glad I did it that way.


Q: How do you stay stylish while traveling when you can’t have your entire closet with you?

I renew my limited wardrobe every 6 months. So I make sure I have a little something special for those days when I need to feel more like a woman and less like a traveler! Also, a little bit of mascara and lip gloss goes a long way when you want to feel a little stylish!


Q: What are three of your must have travel essentials (clothing, gear, shoes, etc)?

I live in flip flops so I have a comfortable pair of Havaiana’s which I would be lost without! I cannot live without my laptop and camera so I can share my journey with the world! And a have a really comfortable sundress which I live in!


Q: What destination or trip was the most fun to dress for?

I loved dressing for the snow! Coming from tropical Queensland in Australia, I never had the need for coats, boots and such. So buying a nice big coat and knee high boots was a lot of fun!


Q: What destination surprised you the most with the ways locals dressed or their type of clothing?

I think that would be France! Every single person was so nicely dressed. I felt like a slob when I was in France! The thing about packing light is of course sacrifice and my sacrifice was my ‘nice’ clothes so I never look fancy, just neat!

Check out TFG’sParis Packing List!



Q: What’s your preferred travel outfit on a plane?

If I am flying to warm weather it is my sundress, because its so loose and comfortable! If I am flying into cooler weather its my linen pants and wooly sweater.


Q: What are your favorite travel accessories (scarves, jewelry, sunglass, etc)?

I cant live without my sunglasses! I don’t wear any jewelry on the road because I’m scared of it getting stolen. I miss my jewelry! And my travel watch is a must – Not so much for the time but so I can keep track of what day it is! Lucky my watch has the date and day on it or I wouldn’t know Monday from Friday!


Q: What are your favorite travel beauty essentials?

Well, in my ‘former life’ I owned a skin clinic so I am very big on taking care of my skin… Which is a lot harder while traveling! The thing that takes up most room in my case, is my toiletry bag! It is jammed packed with serums, creams, cleansers, scrubs, spritz.. You name it, I have it! I always use a hydrating spritz before and after a flight and a good eye cream is a must!


Q: Do you have any specific hair or makeup products that work great for travels?

I’ve never been much of a hair or make up girl; Skin care was my thing. But I always have mascara and lip gloss for those days where I want to feel a little more feminine! I really should invest in an anti frizz serum for my hair because the humidity makes it all fuzzy!




Q: How many pairs of shoes do you travel with and what styles?

This is where I am probably very different from most women who travel! I have 2 pairs of shoes; My trusty flipflops and a pair of runners. I very rarely wear the runners to be honest! I only put them on when we are hiking or walking through rough areas like forests etc. I really do live in my flipflops!

Having trouble choosing shoes for travel?TFG shows you how!


Q: Do you have any cute but comfortable recommendations for footwear?

Other than Havaiana’s?  Just make sure whatever shoes you take with you are comfortable and well worn in!


Q: What was your biggest travel fashion or packing mistake?

I probably should have left most of my skin care at home and just taken the essentials! It’s the heaviest part of my luggage. And I am pretty sure I commit some fashion crime every day! The Fashion Police would have fun with me!


Q: Finally, any travel packing tips for new travelers?

Pack light! If you plan on traveling long term you will be grateful you did. Even though I have a limited wardrobe now, I wouldn’t change it. Every time I have to carry my bag around a city I am so grateful it only weighs 8 kilos!

To find out more about Nicole, check out her travel blog:


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