It always starts with a bag. Another bag, then shoes. And the rest of my travel wardrobe follows rather easily. I pick things that can be versatile enough on the road to accommodate the predictably unpredictable weather mishaps, impromptu dinner parties, last minute business meetings, and off-road weekends. You’d think I’d need 3 bags and 10 pairs of shoes for 5 weeks on the road, but my rule of thumb limits me to 2 bags (one big, one small) and 4 pairs of shoes (flats, heels, sneakers, and boots). A pair of flip flops doesn’t count because that’s always pre-packed in my suitcase–you never know when you might go swimming. Wait a minute, back up there missy, you say. Don’t try to distract me with all those numbers…aren’t there actually 3 bags in that first pic? Oh! Did I forget to say along with the flip flops my luggage also always comes with a workhorse bag? You know, a bag that can take all the abuse on the road.
The colors of the shoes and clothes generally revolve around the 2, ahem, 3 bags selected. In general, black is my travel uniform of choice but sometimes the location is so exotic I have these vignettes in my head that dictate more colorful or, worse, simply impractical outfits. Most of the time the latter never makes it out of the hotel room because, for example, the I-think-I-might-have-with-James-Bond-in-Mumbai-to-exchange-highly-sensitive-information-to-save-the-world-and-requires-me-to-pack- my-Le-Smoking-tuxedo-jacket cocktail never actually materializes. Imagine that! But alas the jacket is the suitcase. But what’s a girl to do? Half of the thrill of fashion is in the fantasies in our heads when we are in our closets…right? OK, OK, perhaps my imagination is a bit much.
I will begin this trip overseas with a tough series of flights over the next couple of days, and during the first part of my travel I will be somewhat unplugged. I’m doubtful that I will have much access to the internet so what I’d like to do for the next 7 days is to schedule a look per day of items I’ve packed in my suitcases. Then once I’m back online from the road, we’ll see how it all works out in real life, in the actual setting. I’m sure I’ll have to change things up once I hit the ground but for now, these are looks floating around in my head as I pack. Sounds good?
So anyway, as you review the first look, I’m probably somewhere in the skies daydreaming about navigating the narrow alleys of a spice market labyrinth in my favorite Missoni caftan.
Look 1. Jean Paul Gaultier geometric top, Chanel camellia sandals, black large camera bag.
Hi everyone! I started this entry on Tuesday this week when I hit a severe case of writer’s block:
I’ve been packing and repacking for the last couple of days for my upcoming trip to Europe (I will finally be blogging live from the road!). You’d think I’d have packing down to a science by now, but this trip involves a four-day stopover in Florida for a wedding before pushing off across the Atlantic for five weeks abroad, so let’s just say packing has been challenging. It’s also tough to pack winter clothes when Pasadena hits mid-80s all this week. When you live in Southern California for a long period of time, your blood thins, you become a wuss, and you forget what winter weather means. Would that be two or three layers of clothes? And does this mean no peep-toe shoes?
So how do I pack for a trip that involves formal, business, and casual attire? I just pack black–shoes, bags, coats, hats, clothes. With the exception of colorful scarves for a pop of color, I’m hoping to keep it as simple as possible this time around. But is it wrong that I’m packing five pairs of shoes for six weeks on the road? It sounds like a lot but I’m rationalizing that each pair serves a purpose. I used to think that I could just go buy something if I forgot it at home, but experience tells me that’s not a good plan. Even for the most basic item, just when you need something it’s virtually impossible to find.
OK, I just took a five hour break between that last paragraph and this one. I’ve managed to squeeze everything into two large suitcases and a small carry-on case. I also threw in some colorful sweaters to cheer myself up. As much as I love to wear black, it was starting to look dreary inside my suitcase. I’m a little freaked out that two winter coats have taken up a lot of space…
Here we are two days later and I have made it to Florida. Flying eastward is always tough–it starts with a very early wake-up call for car service to the LA Zoo (aka LAX) and ends with nightfall by the time I reach my destination. Sitting on the plane to fly cross country technically shouldn’t zap that much energy, but the mental stress of flying is just as overwhelming as physical fatigue. But sometimes special displays at random airports are visual vitamins to keep you going.
I snapped these pictures on my blackberry at the Miami Airport. All we need is love is spelled out in roses. Pausing for a few minutes in front of the flowers broke my usual, hurried stride through the airport. My eyes relaxed for a second as I literally stopped to smell the roses. That’s all the encouragement I need to go on the road again. And when I leave Florida this Monday for a long trek through Europe, I will need all the encouragement I can get.