Carry On or Checked?

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A colleague shared when she and her husband travel, they always carry on their luggage and never check.  They even did it for their two week honeymoon to Costa Rica.  She was pretty proud of herself as she was able to get away with sneaking a razor through security; her go to item.

How can this be?  How could just one carry on per person be enough for a two week trip, let alone any trip?

When I travel, I typically check at least one bag plus a carry-on or personal item like a purse or satchel.  I’m a heavy packer as I hate to make decisions regarding what I’m going to wear and like to have options.  Depending on the trip, clothes are needed for day, evening, beach, golf, exercise, and unexpected changes in the weather.  The “be prepared” Girl Scout has been ingrained to the nth degree.

The bulk of my space is shoes, because I’m obsessed with matching and if my shoes don’t match, it’s a mental grind for the day.  For me, brown can’t go with black; silver can’t go with gold; pink can’t go with red; and patterns must be accompanied with solids (in general, avoid stripes).  Who knows where these whacko bazingo rigid rules of mine came from, but they are hard and fast occupying the space between my ears.  Hence, the bulk of my closet, shoes, and handbags being black with a splash of either silver or gold–not both.

I have a mental block of being casual (probably from being raised by a very formal Japanese mother), so wearing sneakers for the day just doesn’t seem proper.  I remember a friend in high school asking if I ever wore tennis shoes.  My reply was yes, in PE.  One might contend this is a ridiculous mindset as in reality comfort would be more of the goal, as no one really notices and I shouldn’t care what others think–but I do.

I’ll be in Chicago later next week for a conference.  When packing, I hope to focus on function and comfort.  Granted, I plan to go out and see the city each evening, so I’ll need some nice heels, or two. I’m also going to limit a large portion of toiletries.  Just one panel of eyeshadow, rather than several (neutral colors).  Sunscreen and one multi-purpose lotion. Hairspray, but mini bottle.  Leave the hair dryer at home and use the one provided.  One handbag (for all outfits) and one day bag for the materials.

This will be a packing challenge.  Perhaps I’ll realize less is more and it’s the comfort of the simple things that truly matter.  However, I’ll still be checking my luggage; there’s no getting around that!

~D.Thompson

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