Aug 28, 2013

I’m Back! (And How I Manage To Pack So Light)

I’m back! And after an accidental 12 hour “nap” after work yesterday, feeling quite rested :) My body feels fully recharged and in fact, better than ever as I’ve been waking up at 6 AM every morning to get my fitness on before work.

As for how the trip went — it was amazing. It was awesome to visit Italy for the very first time and Switzerland was far more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined anything in the world being. Also, I couldn’t have imagined traveling with more awesome people.  I wish I had the time and energy to write posts on the go, but expect a flurry of Europe posts in the coming weeks as I edit photos and piece together the rest of my trip! :)

Funny random story about flying home this week: while going through customs with just this bag in tow, the custom agent asked me, “Where’s your luggage?” to which I proudly replied with a big grin, “This is my luggage” :D
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No matter how long my trip is and whether it’s a domestic or international trip, this bag is my luggage, carry-on, and personal item. It’s all I take with me. Having traveled since I was very young, I’ve mastered the art of packing light.  I used to pack way too much for every possible emergency, but soon realized that I never read books or did the crossword puzzled that I brought along, nor wore half the clothes that I packed.

After that realization, I would have what I call “let’s be real” moments with myself. I’d gather everything that I thought I’d need, then go through them, “Let’s be real — you’re not actually going to read that book”, “Let’s be real — the hotel probably has a hair dryer” “Let’s be real — you’re not actually going to wear 5 inch heels anywhere”, etc.

On this trip in particular, I was the lightest packer and the only one who didn’t have to check in anything. As the rest of the gang were all huffing and heaving (I felt bad!) rolling their luggage through the cobblestone streets of Venice and carrying them up a 60 step staircase to our cabin in the Swiss Alp, I was all do-de-doooo with my relatively light tote.

People often ask me how I do it and here’s what I packed on this specific summer trip to Italy and Switzerland:

  • 4 pairs of shoes: Chucks, ballet flats, gladiator sandals and flip flips
  • 4 shirts
  • 10 pairs of underwear
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 1 dress
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 2 pairs of shorts — one jean pair and one cotton pair for lounging/sleeping
  • 1 quart sized bag of liquids — deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, bug spray, lotion, inhaler
  • makeup — eyeliner, eyeshadow, lip gloss
  • earbuds
  • purse
  • wallet — a larger one that’s big enough to hold my passport
  • 1 small paperback book
  • 1 notebook to take notes

Of course, I’m always wearing one of the outfits from the above.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to pack all of that into my little bag!

I don’t know if packing light is hereditary or not, but my brother packed, believe it or not, even lighter than I did for his 6 month RTW trip.  He pretty much left home with just a Camelbak.

Anyone have any packing light stories or tips to share?

Now back to adjusting back to real life… ;)

♥♥♥

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6 Comments

  • You’re a packing master!

    • :D

  • I travelled Europe a few years ago on the train. I took everything I needed in a rucksack. Made bustling train stations and crowded city streets easier to manage.

    • Awesome, Stu! I feel like that’s the way to go if you can. I took the train and walked everywhere and packing this way definitely made life easier!

  • Great post! Wish I could do the same, but my phone, iPad, and laptop – and all the chargers – would be way too heavy to carry in one bag. Did you bring any electronics?

    • Thanks, Cindy! The only electronic item I brought was my iPhone. All photos, blogging, trip planning, communication, etc, was all done from my iPhone. Wasn’t the easiest thing — both having to do those things from only the phone, as well as going on an electronics sabbatical — but I managed and I enjoyed it! My travel companion, however, brought 19″ MacBook Pro, an iPad, a DSLR with multiple lenses, and his iPhone :P

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