Good morning and happy Thursday everyone!

Today I wanted to write about my recent experience truly travelling light for the first time.

When travelling, I normally take a suitcase and a carry on. The suitcase is usually pretty large as I try to pack enough clothes so that I will not have to do laundry until I come back home. This means that I pack anywhere from 10-15 outfits, make up, toiletries (such as contacts, tooth brush, hair brush, toothpaste, etc.), shoes, bathing suit, and anything else I might want to bring on that trip (like day bags for walking around).

This time, however, I planned to pack light. Only about 3-4 outfits total, I only brought the essential make-up for the final EdwardJones dinner, and three pairs of shoes including warm weather and cold weather shoes since we would be experiencing temperatures of 80+ Fahrenheit in Italy and around 50-60 Fahrenheit in Amsterdam.
– I had to bring a very puffy dress and a separate pair (the third pair) of shoes for that final dinner. This took up a lot of room in my pack.

Note: we were gone for 11 days.

pack

I packed all of what I needed into two backpacks. One for a day bag and whatever I wanted to bring on the plane and one for my clothes and toiletries. (picture above)

So what all did I pack specifically?

In my main pack I included clothing, shoes, toiletries, and make-up (picture below).

pack2

For clothing, I had:
– two black long-sleeve shirts (32 degree heat brand)
– two “hippie” dresses that were very colorful and flowy (used as shirts)
– a warm weather long sleeve shirt (for Amsterdam)
– my teal dress
– final dinner dress
– bathing suit
– a pair of jeans
– two “hippie” pants that went with the dresses
– two scarves
– two stretchy shorts to wear under the “hippie” pants
– a pair of tyedye long and flowy pants
– four pairs of underwear
– two tank tops (what I wear for a bra, I do not wear bras)
– two pairs of socks (I only used one, though, because I did not have to use them with the blue walking sandals. I only wore my tennis shoes a few times.
– tennis shoes
– blue walking sandals
– (not pictured below) black sandals to go with dress
– (in picture but was NOT packed: brown sandals and pajamas in lower left corner)

* I decided against bringing pajamas and wore only the stretchy shorts and warm weather shirt to bed instead. In hindsight, it would have been nice to bring some pajama pants at least.

for toiletries:
– contacts
– toothbrush (no toothpaste)
– deodorant
– oil perfume given to me by a friend
– some essential oils my mother and I had bought the day of
– menstrual cup (because of course that time happened during)
* side note: I very highly recommend using a menstrual cup for travel rather than pads or tampons. It is quick, hygienic, easy to use and clean, and you don’t have to worry about running out of “supplies”!

make-up:
– a zip brush bag that included
* eye brushes
* eyeliner
* mascara
– an eye shadow pallete

In my day bag I had (not pictured):

– “Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M Auel
– “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
– a copy of each (3) of my personal poetry books in a Ziploc bag along with some business cards (because a writer has got to get herself out there!)
– phone charger
– coat ( my blue “hippie” trench coat)
– Nintendo and charger
– essential oils (this is where I put that Ziploc)
– hand sanitizer
– phone

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Experience

Washing
As an added note, I did wash my clothes. Daily. I bought some travel laundry detergent that came in sheets like those mints used to, and every night when I changed for bed I would wash my clothes in the sink with 1-2 strips of this laundry detergent and then hang my clothes to dry. Roughly 24-36 hours later, the clothes were completely dry and ready to wear again.

I chose to wash every day because I wanted to keep everything as streamlined as possible and rather than wait for a dirty clothes pile, I chose to have a drying rack instead. I believe that doing this really helped in the travelling light experience as I never ran out of clothes to wear.

The Good
This was the absolute best travelling experience compared to how my family and I usually pack.

I NEVER had to worry about my bags being lost because I had them on me at all times and I did not have to check any bags. I brought it on the plane and stored it in the overhead compartment with my day bag under the seat in front of me.

Having everything in a backpack was so much easier to move around and get through the airport rather than trying to wheel a giant suitcase through the usual hordes of people that are at the airport.

Just in general the feeling of absolute freedom I had in being able to clip on my backpack, grab my other backpack and then go…it was a very nice and, again, freeing feeling.

My luggage did not take up precious space in the buses, taxi’s, or room where I was staying. It was much smaller and more compact and I could shove it out of the way much easier.

The Bad

The only negatives to this was having to plan even more carefully than normal, as you only have limited space, and forgetting that my back was sticking out behind me and accidentally running into things and people because I am a klutz.

Both of these can be learned and gotten used to quickly, however, and I don’t really count them as negatives but I thought I should label something as negative in the experience…because blog post.

Final Notes

This was amazing and I definitely plan to continue the trend. Never again will I want to bring a giant suitcase along with me while travelling. Too much material to weigh you down when life is supposed to be about the now and mobile.

Besides, I eventually would like to get it where everything material that I own could fit inside my truck. I am not one for material things, and the more I learn to exist without relying on much the happier I will feel.

As always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to add a comment to this post or shoot me a message.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

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