Stuffing your life into a backpack is difficult when you're used to having a walk-in closet. How am I supposed to pick out a minimal set of clothes that are suitable for a variety of temperatures, look presentable (not too "outdoorsy"), and are easy to wash and wear?!? On top of that, the clothes need to be plain enough to mix-and-match so that I don't go crazy wearing the same outfit every day. Oh, and don't forget, shoes are heavy, so the fewer, the better.
I started my wardrobe planning with the shoes. I knew I'd be bringing a pair of sneakers (low-profile, stylish ones, not those big, white American-style cross trainers!) as they are my footwear of choice for flights. Next, I needed a casual pair of shoes to wear with skirts. Something that didn't require socks, didn't have a heel, and were easy to pack. Ballet slippers! Perfect! And lastly, since we're chasing an endless spring/summer during our travels, I can't forget a pair of flip flops. Three pairs of shoes: done!
Tops and bottoms were a little more tricky. I love to wear jeans, but they're heavy, take forever to dry, and I can't get too many days of wear out of them before they need to be washed. Jeans were out.
I decided on a mix of skirts and yoga pants. Why? They're comfy, easy to wash, dry quickly, and don't require ironing. Keeping these bottoms to basic black or white further simplifies my wardrobe. I also snuck in a black cardigan and white hoodie to coordinate with the pants and skirts. No brown, beige, or navy for me... not until I get a more permanent closet!
I decided to use shirts as an opportunity to introduce some variety and color into my wardrobe. They were also part of a bigger strategy: to get more life out of my outer shirts by wearing tank tops underneath them. The great thing about womens clothing is that it packs up much smaller than mens! I was able to squeeze 6 tank tops, 2 t-shirts, a henley, and an activewear shirt into my packing cube while poor Jim was struggling to get 3 or 4 shirts into his.
All in all, I feel pretty lucky about the fact that we'll be heading into mild weather for most of our travels. Not having to plan for cold weather is saving us a ton of space in our backpacks. Thank goodness we won't need gloves, scarves, hats, and winter boots. Vive le printemps!
|My packing cubes. (Thank you, Bev and Jim!)|
The last major battle was selecting a jacket. This was the most painful choice for me. I had to limit myself to only one multipurpose coat to save on space. So, in went my winter coat (with a removable liner) and all of my windbreakers, sporty jackets, and long button coats were to storage. *sniff, sniff
I did a nice little drawing of my 2012 travel collection, just for you.
|My travel wardrobe. No zip-off pants or Tevas here!|
Also, for those of you who are interested, here is the link for Samsonite Luggage 3 Pack Packing Cubes, Black, One Size.