Going Awesome Places Founder William Tang Shares How He Packs His Travel Bags

Adventurer William Tang

My name is William Tang and I’m a travel blogger and creator from Toronto, Canada. I’m going to be home for the next little while but hoping to start planning for 2018 soon which will be exciting. Travelling is my big hobby but on top of that I’m a professional photographer which I am able to bring to my blogging as well.

How and why did you get into traveling?

It all started when I was young. I was fortunate enough to have parents that loved to travel and so I joined them on many a road trip throughout North America. This wasn’t realized in me until I decided to do a semester abroad in Sweden. We backpacked all around Europe and it was at that point that I was hooked.

Staying in shape certainly helps although I’d be lying if I said I’m in the greatest shape in my life haha! When it comes to planning trips, I’m quite the OCD planner so I like to be pretty thorough in creating an itinerary and learning from other travellers. That’s why I end up on a lot of other people’s blogs, forums, and guides. From there, I slowly assemble a plan and kind of run with it. Beyond that, I’d say the biggest key for planning for me is to start early. I don’t usually like to procrastinate and I make plans early so I can make sure the trip will actually happen.

Adventurer William Tang

How do you finance your travels?

For awhile it was the full time job that helped fund most of the travel but since I’ve gone full time blogging, I’d say it’s the blogging that does it now. That’s not to say I’m making a ton of money through my brand (it’s getting there) but I’ve been more strategic about work I take and I capitalize on opportunities that allow me to travel while still staying on track financially.

Adventurer William Tang

Why is traveling important for you?

It’s a lot of things but if I boil it down, it’s really about enriching my life with the cultures of others to truly have a better understanding of the world. There’s so much we take for granted being raised a certain way and living in a certain way. I find it both humbling and freeing to see the world and experience it.

Adventurer William Tang

How do you bring your things with you?

Too many would be the correct answer here. When it comes to camera bags, I’m always in search of that perfect bag. Right now, I’m using Peak Design’s 30L Everyday Backpack that’s been amazing for my gear. The challenge of course is when you have ANOTHER backpack with all of your clothes. I have a Mountain Hardwear backpack that has served me well but I find the front-to-back system a little much sometimes. As a result, lately I’ve been opting for more roadtrip travel because I can bring my Hey’s hardcase suitcase and throw it into the trunk.

Adventurer William Tang

How do you organize things in your bags?

My life changed when I learned how to roll my clothes and how to use clothing organizers. Eagle Creek makes amazing organizers and I swear by them. It helps me keep very organized in my bag so I know exactly what is where. Again, it’s the OCD side of me but whether I’m using a backpack or a suitcase, I know that the Blue mesh bag for instance is for long sleeve shirts and Orange mesh bag is for undergarments.

With this in mind, I think bags would do better if there were more intelligent ways to build compartments and pockets. What if bags came with their own clothing organizers or if there were dividers that could be customized in the bag that gave you the flexibility to design it in the way you need to.

Waterproofing is pretty important to me although I might be biased because of the trips I’ve been on. My wife and I seem to always attract the rain. It’s the kind of thing that is worth paying the premium for because you never know when rain is going to hit and when it does, you want to make sure you’re protected.

Adventurer William Tang

How do your bags and gear hold up?

My bags are ALWAYS heavy so they have to be able to withstand that. So far all my gear has been very rugged in that regard. While I was in Iceland, my Peak Design camera daypack took a lot of abuse but thankfully they’ve done an incredible job in choosing materials that will stand the test of time and can handle me throwing it down on mud, sand, rocks, etc.

Luckily, I’ve never had to repair anything on the road yet!

Adventurer William Tang

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

You always come out of a trip feeling like you brought too much no matter how hard you try to minimize when packing. There are always a few articles of clothing or whatever things in the backpack that you never used because the “what-if” situation never arose. For me I find that it’s the camera gear that I always struggle with because I want to bring everything but the problem with it is that it’s always the most heavy things to bring with you. Once you bring it, it’s not exactly something you can decide to throw away later either.

In regards to clothing, you’ll always need less than you think you need especially once you become used to the routine of washing your clothes and having more or less the same outfit for most of the trip. There’s always the thought that I could’ve brought one or two less pieces of underwear, socks, or t-shirts.

Adventurer William Tang

What has been your best travel-related purchase below $100?

Buff headwear has to be my favourite in terms of something that’s incredibly versatile and is a must-pack for every trip I go on.

Eagle Creek’s clothing organizer is really good and I’ve pretty much been using the same one from the start. A good camera I would say – without my Olympus OMD EM1 Mark 2, I wouldn’t be able to capture all those precious moments on the road.

What is your best advice for other travelers?

I mentioned some of these but:

  • Always pack light (never pack jeans);
  • Start planning early, you never know what you might miss out on and if you make it a point to start planning a trip, you can’t back out and you make sure that your vacation days are secure;
  • Travel smart – Be careful with your passport, always watch your stuff (especially pockets), keep things locked, and read up on local safety issues.

Adventurer William Tang

What will the future bring?

I’m hoping to do some big trips in 2018 as I continue to expand the brand and grow my YouTube channel alongside the blog. Having just come back from my honeymoon in South Africa and Seychelles, and also a crazy 12 day trip through Taiwan, I have a ton of backlog of work that I’ll start the year off with.

We’re thinking about Galapagos next year and possibly Japan again!

Visit William Tang on his website and follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

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