Are you a light packer?
I’m about to head out for a long weekend in Austin with friends and in an unexpected turn of events will be flying directly from Austin to LA for a job. Once I started traveling for work I started making good use of a detailed packing list. Otherwise I end up at my destination with one earplug, no bobby pins, but somehow two tubes of toothpaste and seven pairs of socks for a five day stay. Always be prepared. The headmaster of Boy Scouts of America himself’s got nothin on the comprehensiveness of this list. As I was making one for this particular trip last night my one page turned into three columns and I was decidedly hating myself as I envisioned inevitably lugging two bags plus a carry on plus a purse of substantial size filled to the brim with my entire life through the airport doors. The worst.
Two-stepping, bar hopping, city exploring, marathon lines for legendary Texas barbecue, college basketball, and a black tie wedding in one climate and a week’s worth of greasy, messy work in another. Never mind the fact that I’ll be lugging a pared down but still heavy and always potentially hazardous version of my work kit all the way to Austin before carrying it on to LA. Last but not least, everything needed to run life and a business when I’m not at home.
The excitement of traveling for work is a thing but it gives way pretty quickly when your clothes are perpetually wrinkled, the hotel ironing board looks like it was dragged out of a dumpster, and you remember the moment you walk in to your hotel room that it doesn’t make sense to sleep naked even though you’re alone because it’s perpetually freezing and not the 83 degree tropical oasis that is your (at least mine is) apartment at all times. And that for obvious subconscious reasons, you failed to put pajamas on the pack list.
After combing through the list with the intention of editing, I somehow only added to it. Just step away. The five pairs of shoes? I obviously can’t run in heels, it doesn’t make sense to two-step in anything other than boots, flats would be so inappropriate at a very formal wedding, and I can’t stand for 12 hours in anything other than my work shoes. Everything else on the list seems to be making a notable contribution as well. I guess it is what it is.
I aspire to be a light packer. I do. But for now would like to take what both you and I may be tempted to call high maintenance and even indecisiveness and instead call it preparedness. And now it’s time to start Tetris-ing all of this stuff into bags.