Secret Asian Man’s Traveling Pants

pants 2A sideways re-entry through the turnstile, after 31 hours in transit, breeching November had me thinking gratefully about pants.  Namely my own pants. My travelling pants and how vital they are having clocked in tens of thousands of miles in the past several years.

I thought I’d share some of Secret Asian Man’s travel secrets.

I started out with with Lululemon’s ABC pants. For several years, these were my go-to lower leg wear.  “ABC” stands, I think, for Anti-ball crushing, and this is true. They have a great amount of stretch and give and don’t wrinkle or crinkle. And despite being from Lululemon, they don’t look like yoga pants. I liked them so much I bought several pairs.

Then I discovered Uniqlo’s Men’s EZY pants. These stretch in 4 dimensions. Could they really predict where I’m going to bend next? The answer is, yes.  They do just that. Or seem to anyway.

They’re lightweight and they breathe, which is great for the desert or the tropics which is where I’ve found myself quite often.  They’re as comfortable as sweatpants and I would have no qualms about sun-saluting, down-doggie-style in them. They don’t wrinkle, and in a pinch, with the right ensemble one could unfold out of economy and step into the office. Plus, they run a third of the price of Lululemon’s pants. I love them. I’d love them even more if they came in khaki, but I love them.

Foundationally, down below, I like boxer Briefs from Ex-Officio, but the Duluth Trading company has nearly the exact fit and feel and is a few dollars cheaper. Discounted, still more, around x-mas.  

Up top, the Air-ism t-shirts, also by Uniqlo and also very reasonably priced are a recent discovery for me. They are very light, so they save on weight and they don’t hold on to the stink as much as all-cotton. I’m saving my money for some Merino t-shirts that are supposed to be supreme, but until then, these are a top choice.

For additional warmth and light blocking, I like my keffiyeh. This is a Mideast staple and is great to keep out wind or cold and blocks a seat-mates lighted screen when trying to sleep. I have several, but I usually use one that is non-traditional and not allegiant to any one country, so as not to irritate anyone crossing borders.  Properly worn, it also seems to appear just sinister enough to stifle idle conversation.

For sleep on a plane, nothing beats business class’ lie-flat beds. But, barring that, I’ve never been a big fan of the neck pillows.  They never seem firm enough to support a slumbering cranium. But, I do like the Trtl neck brace. It is rigid and wraps around the neck on either side for good neck support for a few hours of shut eye. It’s very portable.  Only downside is that it’s fleece and so can get kind of warm around the neck.

And finally, if I absolutely have to have something with me for comfort, it is my Bose Noise Cancelling headphones. These are awesome little pieces of ingenuity, sitting gently in the ear and blocking out hours and hours of engine noise, whether prop or jet. Even if I play nothing through them, sometimes I just cancel out the noise and sit in silence.

The only sound they don’t cancel out is the sound of the human baby. In fact, they seem to cancel all noises, except a human baby.  So, a baby fifteen rows back, may just as well be right behind me.

I’m still searching for the ultimate carry-on. It must have Tardis-like qualities and an elvish lightness of being. Compact, yet cavernous. Open, but compartmentalized. I covertly peruse all my fellow passengers as they board and haven’t seen anything, yet that meets all my needs.  It is my quest. 

There you have it, a few of Secret Asian Man’s secret travelling tips. Some of things that make my time in a tube, more bearable. 

Bon voyage.

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