About five years ago, I bought a one-cup french press from Woolie’s in South Africa for about R70 (at that time, $10).  I think it’s German made.

Before the last couple of years, almost all the trips I took were for months at a time.  I started with this thing because coffee at the time was dragging on my weekly expenses and what was conveniently available wasn’t even that great.  A matter of math.  There was usually a kettle wherever I wound up, but very rarely a coffee maker of any kind, at best some low grade instant powder.

Being able to make coffee when I wake up somewhere turned into one of the things that keeps me sane.  Traveling around is awesome and incredible and selfish and a privilege, but any person who has done it for a long time will probably tell you about hitting walls and disorientation.

Being able to make my own coffee in the morning, away from any conversation, with the same mug and press, makes wherever I’m doing it a little more familiar.  I’ve had brewed cups sitting on a number of lonely beaches, and big city balconies.  It calms me down and is the twenty minutes of normal sameness that makes me feel at home wherever I am.