MVP of Phase 2: the Sawyer water filter

The new purchase* with the most stars in the Lee-Breeden family rating system is our new Sawyer water filtration system. Nearly all the countries we have visited so far have lacked tap water sufficiently filtered for the delicate GI systems of us coddled Americans. The Sawyer system is lightweight, easy to use, works fast, and the filtered water tastes great. As soon as we arrive at each hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, or before every outing, we take out the Sawyer and refill our water bottles, which we then carry on all our day trips. This does befuddle some service-oriented hosts and tour guides who generously and thoughtfully provide refreshing ice-cold bottled water, only to be politely and repeatedly declined in favor of lukewarm water from our water bottles. Payback period from not buying bottled water: about 3 days. Good feelings from knowing that we did not contribute to the glut of used plastic bottles: priceless. Win! 

Grateful every time we can drink water straight from the tap

*Note: We really tried not to buy too many new things for this trip. As we edited our packing lists, we often asked ourselves whether to upgrade with something new or use something we already had. In our basement, we still had perfectly functional stuff we had used the last time James and I had done low-budget international travel (25 years ago, before we’d met). We were especially reluctant to buy new stuff since we were still purging 20+ years of accumulated household stuff and realizing how much unnecessary stuff we owned. We were trying to save our money for the actual trip. We were trying to reduce our carbon footprint. Although our stuff was in good condition, technology in travel gear has really advanced in the last 2 decades.  

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