Inspired by the World
Purses, and especially travel purses, get dirty incredibly easy. All that grime collected during your travels, (coffee stains from Rome, mud from that hiking trip to the Rockies, etc), stains your purses, dulls the colors, and forces you to basically retire your purses early to the depths of your closet. Well, no more!
Here at Baliloca we created a version of our travel purse completely made in neoprene, in exciting bright colors, and perfect for those rough trips or outdoorsy activities. And the best thing about them? They are completely machine washable!
Before we show you how easy they are to wash and maintain to help them stay like new, we need to warn you that this only applies to our neoprene purses, please don't wash your Baliloca leather purses! The leather would be ruined and we'd all be very sad.
STEP 1: Prepare your purse, in particular, make sure you have emptied it completely and tied the elastic strap in a tight knot to avoid it getting stuck.
STEP 2: Fill your washing machine with your dirty colored clothes, and choose the cold water settings. Do not wash white clothes or using hot water to avoid any potential color bleeding!
STEP 3: Complete the washing along with your other clothes as normal, and when the cycle is finished, just take the purse out and let it dry naturally. Do not use dryer.
And that is all! Your purse will dry naturally and be ready for your next adventure! To preserve the materials best, do not wash too frequently, it's best to wait until it's apparent that the purse is stained or dirty.
We pride ourselves in crafting the only cute travel purse out there. Most other travel purses are made of nylon or other fiber, and are boring, so-very-dull and definitely not chic. Let's just say they are "practical". Well, is your only aspiration to be practical? We didn't think so!
So celebrating the arrival of the Fall season, we wanted to give you some tips and ideas on how to combine clothes, accessories and your Baliloca purse. Made with the finest leather, our purses can keep your valuables safe while also making a fashion statement. Don't believe us? Just take a look at some outfit combos we received from some great designers when we ran a contest:
Need any more ideas? You can find more designs and outfit combinations at our Polyvore contest page!
Perhaps you want to know yourself better, or you´re feeling like you need an adventure. Perhaps your friends bailed on you and can´t join you on the trip, or maybe you don´t have any friends (we don´t judge). The matter is that you want to travel, and being solo will not stop you - and it shouldn´t. We´ve done it before and here are our tips to maximize your enjoyment in this situation!
SECTION 1: Motivation is the most important factor.
We live in a society which is very focused on “what will others think of me?” The good news is that nobody really cares for long, and even if they did it shouldn´t matter anyway. Some people may tell you that you´re crazy and that it´s too dangerous, but many others will just be profoundly jealous of your courage to grab your backpack and fly solo. We can assure you that you´ll experience very satisfying personal growth as a result of the challenge.
What are the pros and cons of a solitary trip? Let’s start with the cons:
- You and only you are responsible for all aspects of the trip, so you’ll have to plan in advance and there will be no way for you to blame anyone else for any mishaps occurring during the trip.
- A large part of the time you’ll be lonelier than the Count of Montecristo. (Not necessarily a bad thing)
- You’ll have to exercise more caution, as you won’t be able to fall back on anyone else in the event of a problem taking place.
- There will be no friends with you to create common memories which you can reminisce about for years to come. (But you can make new friends).
- You’d better LOVE taking selfies because after a while you will be tired of asking other tourists to take a snap of you with a picturesque background. It should go without saying, but selfie sticks are prohibited for any self-respecting fashionable traveler.
Now let’s focus on the pros of this adventure:
- You’ll have plenty of time to think, meditate, and know yourself better.
- Most probably you will experience an increase in your level of confidence that will carry forward in your life after your trip. Less second guessing yourself.
- Obviously there will be no arguing with others in regards to the travel plan, itinerary, or whether or not you really should have that fourth margarita. (You probably should).
- You’ll meet exponentially more people and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the foreign culture much easier.
- Self-reliance is the name of the game. The solo traveler learns early on that he/she is all they need to survive and have a great time.
- Your extroversion qualities will grow in leaps and bounds, as it’s a position in which you either learn to block out social pressure or go home.
The truth is that tens of thousands of solo travelers take that first step on an adventure every year, and they are not better or braver than you. Go get them!
SECTION 2: Be prepared.
You’re brave but you’re not foolish, so this is where we will give you tips to minimize any risk factor that could make your vacations turn sour. Prior to commencing your voyage:
- Spend some money buying a good travel guide, preferably one including a general road map of the country to use as a reference if you get lost.
- Depending on your destination, consider investing some hard cash on travel insurance. You never know what kind of tropical disease you could catch, and if your credit cards will decide to go on strike at that precise time in which you need to pay for a hospital.
- Try to learn in advance some basic facts of the destination country and their culture, so as to not offend your hosts. This includes some basic communication in their language, which is always appreciated by locals, such as these phrases: “Hello”, “another beer please”, and “where is the bathroom”, (in that precise order).
- Learn the basic geography of your destination and general traveling times, to avoid being over optimistic and missing essential landmarks.
- If your destination is a country on the rough side, make sure to be up to date on the political situation. If the situation spirals out of control once you’re there, head for the embassy immediately.
- Make sure to carry a safe purse in order to keep your valuables far away from sticky third party hands. We obviously highly recommend the Baliloca Travel Purse since it can go over or under the clothes, fits all essentials and is fastened using two separate straps which makes it completely theft-proof.
And some advice on how to be prepared during your travels:
- Get in contact with your family and friends periodically, explaining where you are exactly and where you plan to go in the next few days. Try to do this every few days, for both their peace of mind and for them to have a starting point to search for you if something terrible happened.
- Think of what will you need to carry with you to that day trip. Will it be hot? Carry extra bottled water. Will you need a hijab to enter a mosque for example? Buy one and carry it with you.
- Common sense is key. Don’t take unnecessary risks, and try to appear as low key as possible. It’s better to under-dress than to look flashy and attract muggers. Think “broke backpacker”- this is the safest appearance.
SECTION 3: How to socialize and fend away loneliness.
There are two types of people in the world, the introverts and the extroverts. The former will flourish during the lonely parts of the trip, and will struggle with the meeting people part of the journey. The latter will very easily meet new friends but will become restless and bored during the purely solo parts of traveling. Nevertheless, both types of people will learn new skills that will make them more well-rounded individuals in the long run.
Obviously during a long trip you WILL have to meet fellow travelers, but even for a short trip you should make an effort to connect with locals or other backpackers. It’s worth it and very easy to do. Most people are incredibly nice anywhere in the world. So who are the easiest people to befriend? We’re going to teach you a psychological hack that will speed up your friend-making!
Human beings develop friendships faster and easier with people who have the following characteristics, (in order of importance):
- Similar age.
- Same gender.
- Shared values and pastimes.
How does this work in practice? Try to remember a situation in which a group has assembled together for the first time, and think of how the relationships have developed. First, people will instinctively reach out to individuals of the approximate same age bracket; young ones will reach out to young ones first, more mature individuals will gather along with their equals. Within the similar age group, males will tend to most easily develop friendship with other males, and females will instinctively look to bond with other females. Finally, these new established groups will be further segmented into gaggles that share similar points of view.
Knowing this you can bypass many introductions and aim preferentially at meeting a similarly aged traveler of the same gender. This will be the fastest way to develop and acquaintance and perhaps a friendship.
Any time a social group meets for the first time, (for example an impromptu guided tour) there is a certain paralysis that lasts for many minutes and even hours, in which the members of the newly formed group share space but do not create relationships with one another, and sometimes may even shy away from speaking to each other. It’s critical to employ these first minutes of paralysis to launch your first conversations and establish social relationships. But who should be your first targets? (In order)
- Other solo travelers: These people share your same situation and will probably appreciate your company, as their travel plans may be flexible and they may be in dire need of conversation. This is the easiest type of person to meet, the only introduction required is asking “how long have you been traveling solo?”
- Fellow travelers from your same country: The second easiest traveler you will be able to befriend will be a group hailing from your origin country. If you happen to catch a familiar accent, don’t hesitate and just ask them where they are from and take it from there!
- Other foreigners (which are non-locals): The inhabitants of some countries like the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France and Germany are very extensive travelers, and some of them are very outgoing and happy to meet people.
- Locals: Meeting locals is always a bit more challenging depending on the country, but very doable nevertheless. To make it easier, catch them when they are not in a group.
And finally, some tips on some very good places to meet people efficiently:
- Youth hostels and backpacker hostels. These are the most outgoing places to hang out and share a couple of drinks with fellow adventurers. This is the Valhalla of solo travel. A typical backpacking hostel will have shared bedrooms which make it impossible to NOT meet people, but also smaller rooms for the more privacy minded travelers (or for those with a dislike for snoring), but with a bar nearby where you can still mingle. Most of these hostels have notice boards to share car rides and split gas prices, kitchen, etc…
- If you look around you when you’re in a tourist hotspot such as the Taj Mahal, the Sydney opera house, or the Eiffel tower, you’ll notice that you’re in the midst of a large scale backpacker hostel. Travelers from all over the world gather at the same places for a few hours. You can definitely meet travelers in these hotspots, especially if you see a solo traveler resting with a drink or trying to unsuccessfully take a selfie. The phrase “need someone to take a photo for you?” works wonders in this setting.
- Guided tours and package travel: Although most of the time unnecessary, if you travel solo, these tours can be heaven sent. A group of travelers from all over the world will be sitting in the same van or bus for hours, making it a great opportunity to meet cool new friends.
SECTION 4: Document it all!
Unfortunately considering that you won’t have an old friend with you, it will be impossible to reminisce with him or her about the trip years later, so you may even forget some of the incredible experiences that you have experienced during your trip. This is solved by carrying a diary with you, and taking notes profusely. No need to write like Charles Dickens, this diary will only be for your personal use.
Or start a travel blog and tell us about your trip!
We know we've invented something quite unique which needs a bit of an explanation. The Baliloca Purse is a completely new concept, which we've designed to try to help you carry your valuables as effortless as possible, but novelty also means that nobody has seen it in action before, so wearing it is not completely intuitive.
- It's not exactly a cross body purse.
- It hangs from a shoulder but it's not 100% a shoulder bag either.
- It's not a backpack even though it's fastened over both shoulders...
Since you probably will never have seen a Baliloca purse before, when you receive it by mail you may have some questions like "why is there more than one strap?" or maybe "how can I avoid strangling myself while putting it on?" :) Don't worry, you're not the first and we've got you covered! Without further ado, this is how to wear the Baliloca. Check out the lovely model below:
FIRST STEP: The purse hangs on the left side of the body.
The main part of the purse, (where you keep your valuables), hangs from your left shoulder. It will hang high and close to your body for balancing purposes and to avoid theft.
SECOND STEP: The extra strap (the stretchy one) goes across your back and is fastened to your right shoulder.
To get to this position, simply pass your right arm completely through the loop of the extra strap. It should feel like if you're putting on a backpack. The main strap will rest around your left shoulder and the second strap over the right shoulder.
THIRD STEP: Adjust the fit of the extra stretchy strap.
The extra strap is fully adjustable to fit all sizes, so simply adjust the length of the strap in order to best adapt to your physique.
And voila! You're done and your purse is unshakable and very comfy, so be careful, you may even forget that you're wearing a purse!
They say that images speak louder than words. We've found out that videos speak even louder than images. So here is a video on how to put on the purse. Enjoy!
Well hello! Thank you, dear reader, for checking out our blog.
Here we will write about the things we really care about (and which we hope you share), and of course we'll shamelessly plug every now and then our excellent products - hey, we have to earn a living too.
But this blog is mainly a safe spot for talking about the Baliloca Lifestyle. And what is this? It's a compendium of our philosophy of life and the little things that make us tick. For example:
- Traveling around the world - always in style.
- Meeting new people and taking in new cultures.
- Dancing all night under the stars.
- Laughing with friends until our sides hurt.
- Keeping up with new trends, especially for accessories.
- Food and other yummies.
- Expresso coffee (deserved it's very own bullet point).
- Flying, biking, hiking, and many other means of transportation ending in -ing.
We hope to entertain you and give you new ideas so you can enjoy life to the fullest in this wonderful world we live in. After all, we're "Inspired by the World"!