5 things in the suitcase of Anaïs from Belgium, now studying in Lisbon

According to the BBC, 3.7 million students study abroad per year. And this number is increasing by 12  percent. But you can’t take every belonging with you. Every week, students confess what items they can’t travel without.

Anaïs Skoutariotis (21) is of Greek-Italian origin and born and raised in Belgium. She studied Latin-Modern Languages in secondary school and Communication Management at the Hogeschool PXL. ‘I spent the internship of this training in Barcelona, ​​Catalunya. During my higher education, I started as a flight attendant for TUI Fly Belgium. I worked as a cabin crew for two years and stopped in October last year. Then I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, where I still live and work.’

‘I write not only for my blogs later but also for myself’

Next to her studies, Anaïs started her own project, ‘Ana Seas The Day’. ‘On my website and social media I share travel guides, blogs, tips and inspiration for all curious travelers worldwide. That’s why I started traveling alone since January 2018: ​​in the meantime, I have visited several countries alone, including Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, the Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao), Morocco, Malta, Spain, and Italy.’

1. My notebook helps me to unwind
‘When I travel, I write a lot. That’s why my notebook and pen are on the first list of things I always have in my suitcase. I write not only for my blogs later but also for myself. I really enjoy being in nature, in a beautiful place, and completely let go of drawing and writing. Writing is important to me because it is a kind of outlet for my feelings and my inspiration. I need to reload on such moments and unwind. And writing is something that helps me with that.’

2. My camera for iconic photos
‘My camera is another thing I always take with me. There is one iconic photo of every trip that I will always cherish. That is often one of the only photos with me in it. And I also like to take landscape photos.’

‘ I always read The Alchemist while traveling’

3. My phone (but also my friend’s sweater)
‘Another item that’s hard to leave behind is my phone. As much as I like to stay offline while traveling, it is always nice to have contact with my family or friends or partner at the end of the day. I cherish that enormously. It is also possible that I miss them on longer journeys, so taking my mobile phone is a must. Friends are important to me, that’s why, next to my phone, I also take a close souvenir of someone. During my last travels, I took my friend’s sweater with me.’

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
‘I created a habit to bring one specific book when I’m traveling: ‘The Alchemist’ written by Paulo Coelho. I have developed a kind of tradition and custom that I always read this book while traveling, preferably on the plane during a long flight. The course of the story and the moral touch me so that I can read it again and again.’

‘Sometimes I wish at a certain moment that a specific person would be there’

5. Toilet bag
‘I find personal hygiene and care is very important. That’s why I definitely need my toilet bag. I try to make up my face as little as possible when I travel -read: never-, so I avoid my makeup. I often take a toilet bag with oils and other products, and I always have mini versions of the products in my carry-on or handbag. Especially when I’m on the plane for a long time, I want to freshen up. You would be amazed at how many people endure a night flight without brushing their teeth or taking care of themselves.’

In general, Anaïs isn’t that materialistic. She only takes the necessary items with her. ‘I leave the laptop at home. I don’t bring a whole wardrobe or clothes. I haven’t mastered the art of backpacking and prefer to travel with a suitcase, but I have always been able to take everything I wanted to take with me. Sometimes I wish at a certain moment that a specific person would be there. Then I think: That would really have been something for them. And then I think it’s a shame that I didn’t bring that person.’

Text: Aram Van den Eynde, photo: © Anaïs Skoutariotis