A Suitcase of Memories

While I’m presently packing and planning out four months of travel spanning all four seasons (make that five seasons, considering India is supposed to reach 104F/40C degrees), I’m continuing to reminisce about my first trip to Europe in January 1998. Oh my, did I learn a lesson about packing!

First, I’m American, that means I absolutely wouldn’t dream of wearing the same outfit twice on a two week trip abroad. Second, I’m Lisa, which means I have a different pair of (probably obnoxious, platform or high healed, spiked, glass with fish in them) shoes to go with each outfit.

Inexperienced as I was with world travel, I packed a large roller suitcase of clothes and a large duffle bag just for shoes. Oh, and a back pack with a small library in it, because my inner nerd doesn’t feel comfortable too far away from my books.

Oh wait, you mean I have to carry all that, myself?

After trekking through the streets of Paris and racing through a seemingly enormous train station, only to wait around carrying all this crap in lines and through delays, I seriously considered ditching all the bags and just wearing what I had on for the week in London ahead of me.

My whole body was numb with pain. With my aching shoulders (and feet…do you think I actually had a sensible pair of shoes in that bag?), I vowed to never overpack again.

I kept that promise. Instead of a book case, I carry a kindle (but I almost always have a paper copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in my bag). I also learned to carry some laundry detergent, wash my clothes in the hotel room sink, and wear the same few things for the length of the trip. My bones thank me.

I’ve become quite good at packing, but this is a challenge! At least I get to come home once and repack. Yet, I’m disappointed in myself because I had to let out the zipper for more room in my carry-on sized bag. Half of it is filled with toiletries…and of course…shoes.

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