“Um, aren’t you forgetting something?” Megan asked as she picked me up for the airport.
“What?” I asked.
“All set,” I said, patting my one backpack with confidence.
Megan eyed my choice of luggage doubtfully, probably thinking she’d have to provide my toothpaste, shampoo and underwear for our three-day trip. (But hey, she’s a bestie, and besties know they gotta share…)
Lucky for her, though, I had packed my one bag with all my necessaries, including and limited to:
- Toiletry bag
- Make-up bag
- 2 shirts
- 1 set of workout clothes
- Running shoes
- 2 pairs socks
- 1 bra (Keepin’ it real here, folks.)
- 3 pairs underwear (When it comes to skivvies, I follow my mama’s advice and always pack extra. This is one area in which I don’t recommend total minimalism.)
I wore the same pair of dark jeans every day. (Don’t judge. This isn’t gross. Unless they’re stinky or visibly dirty, there’s no need to wash pants every day.) I also layered a long-sleeved shirt and scarf over the t-shirt I wore on the plane, so I could stay comfy in the variant climes of the hotel conference room where Megan and I would spend most of our time.
The result? I felt comfortable the whole time and never lacked for clean clothes.
But I know what you’re thinking…
What if you spilled something on one of your 2 shirts?
What if you slipped in the mud in your one pair of pants??
What if you casually met an A-list celebrity in the elevator and got invited you to a party and you’d left all your sparkly tube tops at home???
The fact is, these things do happen. You never know when a rockstar might invite you to his home to watch a private fireworks display. (That actually did happen to me once, buuuut… that’s a different blog post for a different time, my friends.)
A more realistic “What if?” scenario actually DID happen to me one summer, when I traveled (with Megan, coincidentally) for another 3-day trip. True to my minimalist ideals, I’d packed just one pair of sandals. And they broke. Like heel-flopping-off-my-foot broke. One passerby even commented, “Ooooh, that sucks…” as he saw me flopping down the hall. (Thanks, passerby, for your accurate-yet-unhelpful assessment of my situation.)
So what did I do? I got resourceful. Megan found scissors, and I cut the heel off the sandal, allowing me to make it through the day. That night, we went to TJ Maxx and bought new sandals. Done.
The truth is, unless you’re traveling to Antarctica, you can probably buy anything you need to get out of a “What if?” situation.
The “What if’s” rarely happen.
And if you pack for every “What if?” you’ll be lugging around a suitcase the size of a body bag, paying baggage fees, and never casually running into A-list celebrities because Justin Bieber simply cannot fit into the elevator with your humongous bag.
More importantly, though…
There is joy in packing light.
It frees you to spend time researching the place you’re traveling instead of stressing about what to pack. It saves you money and energy while on the road. And it makes coming home and unpacking (everybody’s least favorite chore) so. much. easier.
So this summer, I urge you, travel.
And I urge you even more strongly, travel light.
And if you run into the Biebs, tell him I say hi.
To less stuff and more room for what matters…