Travelling light

So, travelling for three months and what to pack!

If you google ‘travelling light’ there are lots of helpful tips. Checklists, how to travel with only hand luggage, bring ‘half as much luggage and twice as much money‘, airline requirements for carry-on and checked-in luggage, the philosophy of ‘travelling light’, which is not just about what size is the biggest bag you can take, but more about the minimum amount of stuff you need to carry around.

Eric and I are seriously considering the possibility that we are going to travel for 14 weeks – and we will take only 1 carry on case each (plus a handbag/day pack for book/laptop). Seems (at first thought) as a pretty hard thing to achieve.

Immediately I thought ‘yeah, if I was skinny my clothes would be smaller and lighter and I could pack more and ANYTHING I put on would look good, instead of being fat and needing lots of variety so that I may possibly find something on any given day that looks good!’

Phew! That already took lots of my energy; however, I reckon I could go with one of the standard packing lists for women and deal with it!

So, I will probably take 4 to 6 shirts/tops (combo of short and long-sleeved), 2 pairs of pants (one dressy, one casual) 2 pairs of capri pants, 2 bras, 4 underpants, 1 light cardigan, 2 pairs of shoes (one closed, one open), a scarf or two, a lightweight raincoat and basic to no toiletries – because you can buy toiletries outside of Australia (surprise!).

I had a look at carry on hand luggage today – DO YOU KNOW HOW SMALL THEY ARE? No way (says my brain) can I carry enough stuff in that!

So, it will be a challenge – and if I hang around with the same people for a few days (like on our Greek Island tour) they’ll be going ‘Mmm, she has worn the same thing three times this week! For shame!’ 🙂 and if I was a more easy going person, that probably wouldn’t bother me much. But I am not easygoing, nor do I like how I look at 50 – so I want lots of clothes with lots of choices – AND then I’ll have lots of clothes that I won’t wear, so …. back to the travelling light part!

With a limited wardrobe, hopefully I can just concentrate on enjoying the journey. This is what I have to wear; they’re clean and colourful – get over it! This is me, exploring the world, making new friends, experiencing other cultures – who cares what I look like? Except that everybody does (in Western society) – and anybody who doesn’t think so is deluding themselves.

In fact, I just read something that mentions that – I’m going to go look it up! Looked it up … it is in Khaled Hosseini’s new book And the mountains echoed, which is again set in Afghanistan from 1952 to current day. One of the many main characters trained as a plastic surgeon and he learned that ‘the world didn’t see the inside of you, that it didn’t care a whit about the hopes and dreams, and sorrows, that lay masked by skin and bone.’ Of course, I don’t have huge physical problems that merit plastic surgery, but it did ring true – and what really brings things into focus for this character is that he spends half of his working life with people needing face lifts, erasure of wrinkles, eyebrow lifting, etc and the rest travelling the world helping children with cleft lips, facial tumours and repairing injuries. It does feel like such a shallow thing, worrying about what you look like, but it is the first thing that people notice about you – and it does bother me!

So, more personal growth really; limit what clothing and accessories I bring with me and learn to live with how I am and keep it simple (stupid!). Give people I meet the chance to get to know me (inside) and not the surface me. I’m married to a man who just doesn’t give a hoot about such things (like many men?) and doesn’t really understand why I worry so much; but he is also a wonderful caring and loving husband who tries to encourage me to just be myself and not give myself such a hard time!

He is delighted that it is me who has decided on this ‘one bag’ travel ethos!

Apart from the benefits of limited clothing and not worrying so much about what I look like, there is the ease of departing airports (no waiting for luggage) of making your way to accommodation – you can walk for ages if need be and hop on and off public transport with greater ease, the risks of lost luggage are lower – and if you do lose your luggage, all you’ve lost is some clothes – not all your expensive jewellery (because you left it at home) not the hairdryer, or most gorgeous handbag or shoes (because they’re in your wardrobe also!) – nor the 5 books that you just had to bring along or the photos that you really felt you needed to share (or look at a lot while you missed your kids!) – just some clothes and they are easily replaced!

You’ve lessened your impact on the environment – less weight contribution on the plane and therefore use of fuel! You can avail yourself more easily of express check-in and won’t need to wait in so many queues. And if you do find yourself travelling on smaller or more budget-type airlines at some point and you have to check in your luggage – it’s not the end of the universe!

So, next trick – deciding on which clothes are coming with me and BLOODY FORCING THEM INTO THAT SUITCASE!!

Ciao, for now! x

10 thoughts on “Travelling light

  1. 15 photos of the same outfit – are you crazy woman?

    Although, that yellow shirt at the largest bookstore in Europe (Milan) at the Alhambra (Granada) the Sagrada Familia (Barcelona) in Alora – our ‘home’ village for 8 weeks and Casablanca (Ricks Cafe!) and of course Harry Potter world, UK 🙂 – could be you’re a genius too Sally! x


  2. You make me laugh. I’m just thinking back to my trip to Alaska where I wore the same 2 pairs of trousers for a week on a cruise boat with the same bunch of people. I can’t remember if any of them wore the same thing twice in a row. In fact I can’t remember what any of them wore at all. It really doesn’t matter what people think of you. Chances are they don’t think of you at all! We are all pretty self absorbed when you get down to it so I encourage you to do the travel light thing. I’m sure the benefits of packing light will far outweigh the angst of feeling like you’re being judged because you wore the same outfit twice in a week.

    I am greatly looking forward to following you on your adventures once you get to Spain. And, I think you should upload a daily photo on your blog (can you do that or am I getting confused with facebook?) and celebrate the fact that you are wearing the same outfit for the fifteenth time. Another bonus of travelling light is that you won’t have to bring any clothes home because you’ll be so sick of them by the time you’ve finished your holiday that you’ll just leave them there!


  3. I think: Pack NO shoes. They take up way too much space. Wear your comfy sneakers on the plane and just buy a cheapo ‘nice’ pair of shoes once you’re over there for any out-to-dinner events. You can always either return them or donate them after all. Also, too many pants! Get a comfy pair of jeans, people will assume it’s a different set every day unless they’re noticeably patterned or adorned.



  4. Having taken 6 months off to travel the world in 2000 I completely understand your dilemma. I packed a rucksack with my things and had a small day bag with my essentials and it was still massively heavy to lug around!

    Firstly put aside all thoughts of being glamorous 🙂 In the end you realise that no one gives two hoots about what you look like and (as everyone above has said) I know your personality will shine through!

    In the end I managed with:

    3 t-shirts (short sleeves)
    2 t-shirts (long sleeves)
    2 pairs of lightweight trousers (1 of them had detachable legs to make into shorts)
    I sarong (essential!!!) – skirt, for the beach, cover your head, use as a blanket, use as a rug……
    1 swimming costume
    2 bras
    4 pairs of pants
    Lightweight coat
    Something to sleep in (you won’t have this issue as you won’t be staying in shared dormitories in backpackers!)

    Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap (lasts longer), moisturizer, shampoo and mozzie repellent.

    The other big thing to remember is that everywhere sells clothes too LOL

    One tip that I learnt was that as soon as I had a small collection of souvenirs (postcards etc) I went to the local post office, boxed it up and sent it home. This included all my photos too. I guess now a days (we didn’t have digital then) I’d be sending back individual memory cards. There’s nothing worse than finding you’ve lost some.

    So that’s the oracle according to Rachel 🙂



  5. I’m with Joy, Trish!

    The beauty of you is YOU. If we’re talking externals you have beautiful, make-up free, perfect skin. Smiley/expressive eyes, a really endearing smile and your laughter is SO contagious. You ALWAYS look gorgeous (to the rest of the world) you wear such vibrant colours and patterns that the effect is instantly uplifting. On the inside, you are SO SO intelligent and you have this joy…buried deep that sparks and bursts so brightly when you’re happy. You are happy when you are with your one true love and we get to see the DELICIOUS you more and more and that is so FUN!!! and the lucky people who enter your circle as you travel will see that too.
    Many many MORE people worry about how THEY look rather than how you look. And the ones who worry about how others look are clearly bored and should find something more soul-full to do!

    You are going to have a great time!!!!

    Love you LOTS!!!

    P.S. Please do not take this positive review on as extra pressure….It’s LOVE!


  6. Hi Trish Remember where ever you travel in the world, like meets like. You are a beautiful person & on first meeting, these new people in your lives will be well aware of the special quality you & your husband have. The genuine people certainly don’t give a “rats” what a person wears, but they know spiritually and instantly the person you are! Just think – we are easy to find if we don’t have the “ritz wardrobe” & being different is fun. Why, we don’t all have to do what society expects, or to conform to (as long as within society laws) Please, relax & just be yourself and you will be amazed at the people you attract – and the stimulating, excitement that’s out there. Meeting new people is so refreshing, enlightening and essential to ones being. Just do what makes your heart “sing”, in any language, & country. Being 50 ish is great, we have experience in many areas of life but still very young compared to some of my 90 year old friends! This is going to be some holiday, I wish I could fit in the carry-on! Talk soon, take care Joy Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2013 09:39:33 +0000 To:


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