How To Be Good At Packing..No…Seriously, How?
There is so much knowledge to be had from traveling. Places around the world just brimming with interesting people, customs, new experiences, new traditions. The world is a giant wide open book, and as spoken by the great Saint Augustine, “Those who don’t travel only read a page.” I absolutely subscribe to this idea, and am always on the quest for more knowledge. However, this post is not about the sum of my knowledge, it is a post about gearing up for Disney, and a few things I have yet to learn on my travels.
For someone who travels frequently, I am not great at packing….yet. I am getting better, but you would think (or at least I definitely thought that) by now I would be some expert, throwing in the precise combination of clothes I would need, using every last piece I brought with me and carrying only what I need most. Definitely not true, not even close. Most of the time, I am way over packed. I bring just about everything but the kitchen sink, because as my friend Kerri explains, “I need options.” However, the one time I really tried to control my out-of-control packing, I went to Paris terribly under packed, and basically froze for a week. I re-wore the same three outfits and was bitterly cold in each and every one of them. Since them, I have been much more careful about what goes in and out of my suitcase, the same teeny little battered suitcase that I have had since I was a tween (my boyfriend still makes fun of me for the ‘save the dolphins’ sticker that was long ago removed from it.) I have a VERY specific way of packing, and it is far from perfect, but it works.
My system is as follows: About a month before a trip, yes, an entire month if not earlier, I take my suitcase out of the closet and lay it open on the floor. Every time I go to my closet and think of a wardrobe piece I want to bring with me, I put it in the suit case. I guess it prevents me from packing a few days before I leave and being frustrated if I can’t find something I really wanted to wear. Then, as we approach the travel date, I sort of officially pack the bag, and then I start my editing process, where I take some stuff out, put some stuff back in. This happens on and off until my friend Amelia, the ultimate travel-packer, comes over, and she takes stock of everything I am bringing. As she is going through everything, we have a whole dialogue about each piece and why I do or don’t need it, and then that is the final say. I seriously do not feel like I am really packed and sure of everything I am bringing if Amelia isn’t there to give me her stamp of approval. She just knows exactly what to bring and what is too much.
When I went to Taiwan I was vigilant in my desire to come off a 14+ hour flight looking impossibly fresh. I was a total master at keeping myself moisturized and oil-free. The secret is: moisturizer, those oil-free blotting pads, a sample-size eye cream, face wash towelettes, a tooth brush and tooth paste, deodorant, and a body splash spray. I know it’s gross, but seriously don’t be afraid to use that plane-bathroom sink to your advantage. Brush your teeth in there! WHO CARES? If it keeps you from being grody, be my guest. I am telling you guys, on a trip to Asia or further, pack those things in yo’purse. You will thank ferocia on that plane, I promise you. Clearly, my carry-on packing is stellar, but my check-in bag is a work in process.
Another thing I have not learned how to do well, yet, is buy souvenirs. I am the worst at buying souvenirs! I love when people give me something very specific to grab for them, but otherwise, I have no idea! France was the worst. I want to find things that people really can’t find in America, but it is the 21st century, and you really can get anything anywhere. I will be walking in a gift shop and think to myself, “does someone really want a pen or flag, or shirt that says ‘Paris’ on it? Is it not just the same as any pen from anywhere only the ink spells something different?” I love souvenirs, but I never know what to get anyone. I want to be the person that comes back from these exotic travels with tons of exotic stuff for everyone! How do those people do it?? Whenever I do find something that I think is cool, I usually just grab one for myself, and then get home wishing I had just bought 12 more for other people. Maybe that is the secret? Pretend like you’re shopping for yourself?
My three favorite things I have bought overseas are a mardi gras mask that I bought in New Orleans (when in Rome..), a scarf in Paris with Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ printed on it, although I have never used it, and my all time favorite thing, a day of the dead ceramic skull from Venice Beach. It is SO cool. Venice Beach was the last place Joey and I went in LA, and down the boardwalk are huge blankets with hundreds of different hand-painted skulls by the artists in CA. I thought they were the coolest things, and every single one looked very colorful and different, so it was fun choosing. At first Joey was creeped out by them, but he totally warmed up to them in the end, and even bought a few as souvenirs!
As of Wednesday I will be touching down in Orlando, and I could not be more excited! Feature below is the crew going to Disney! Best double date ever!!! Next time I blog I will be in the happiest place on Earth!