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Travels with a Wrap

April 11, 2013

Filmmaker and yoga instructor Jodi Smith shares her adventures with what is probably our most travelled travel wrap.

Filmmaker Jodi Smith in out on the town wearing her Mongolian Yak Wool Travel Wrap

I am rarely in one place. If I'm not making a film I'm teaching yoga or travelling to experience the unusual and inspiring. After my NZ passport and APEC travel card, my Khunu Travel Wrap is THE best travel item I own. From the deep interior of South American jungles to the busy streets of London - it travels with me everywhere. 

Ironically, my love affair with the wrap began miles from the Tibetan plateau, in the jungles of Guyana. Two years ago I was filming a documentary there, living in simple conditions for nearly a month with little to no creature comforts. In the intense humidity of the jungle I discarded my sleeping bag, which I found too hot and not breathable for the 30 degree + nights sleeping in my hammock, and replaced it with the wrap, which did an excellent job protecting me from the humidity and provided great ventilation. 
Filmmaker Jodi Smith rests on her Khunu Mongolian Yak Wool Travel Wrap as she travels through South America.
Although by the end of the month I had developed a strong attachment to the wrap, true love doesn't come easy to me, and it took a bus journey of intense discomfort before I was fully smitten. 
The day after we wrapped up filming, I was crammed into a van with 14 other people and driven at 80kph on unsealed roads with rhythmical Jamaican Dancehall music blaring as we hammered into wheel-swallowing potholes. It was a bone-jarring experience that lasted for 13 hours, and my faithful wrap and small bag of ferrine (dried and ground cassava - yes as bad as it sounds) were the only comforts I could find (I had finished my last bar of dark chocolate weeks ago). Whether I was wrapping it around me to provide a buffer from my neighbour (who was practically sitting on my lap), or using it as a pillow, it did wonders to ease the prolonged misery of that torturous journey. After that, the wrap became a faithful companion on all my journeys.
Filmmaker Jodi Smith's Khunu Mongolian Yak Wool Sweater shields her from the rain while filming on set.
What has perhaps surprised me the most is how a fibre from the cold, high plateau of Tibet has proven so versatile in humid places. Never was this more apparent than in Nagasaki Harbour during the filming of the upcoming movie The Wolverine (to be released in July). In pouring rain I drew the short straw and had to stay with the camera while the others sheltered in the bus. The wrap provided amazing protection from the elements; in fact I wore it instead of my Goretex jacket, which was way too hot for the Nagasaki summer. Perhaps surprisingly I use the wrap as much in hot weather locations as in cold - it is amazing for tropical climates where there's a lot of humidity and rain. Every caring film director should have a few Khunu wraps on set - they are perfect for the unpredictable world of location-based movie shooting where you can often be sat around waiting for the right conditions, or forced to shoot late into the night as deadlines loom. 
So why do I love my wrap? It packs light, it's equally happy hanging with Prada or Patagonia, is extremely warm even when it gets wet, and is just the right size and weight for curling up under when you just need to take things easy. As a yoga instructor I also find it PERFECT for doing a headstand on!

Jodi is currently living in Fiji running "Yoga & Qigong by the Beach" which she started late last year. For more information check out http://ranadiplantation.com/yoga-qigong-by-the-beach/. It's a stunning place.