I recently wrote an article for Trekity about how to pack for all four seasons in a carry-on.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how important it is for a long-term traveler to be able to part with clothes or other items in order to keep a diverse wardrobe. That’s not a big deal for some people, but after three months of wearing the exact same clothes all the time–and starting to brace myself for winter–there were a few things I had to get rid of in order to make room for the colder seasons.
Other than the stuff I’m super happy I had with me so far, here are the top three items I’m happy to have added to my suitcase:
This was the first addition to my Osprey–probably other than a garbage bag of a poncho–and I purchased it in Portree, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. I had packed a sunhat, sure, but had neglected to pack a warmer winter one. Being the desert rat that I am, I also didn’t expect to need one in JULY, but of course in Scotland, I did. I shelled out a bit more for it, both because it was in pounds and also it was a legit brand, but it has served me so well and I’m sure I’ll use it at home when the weather warrants it!
Chunky wool scarf from H & M
I had the foresight to pack 2 scarves with me: one was a beautiful floral one from my grandma that perfectly matched the chartreuse jersey maxi-dress I loved wandering around Greece in; another was a gray pashmina I collected from Italy one year. Both fit my wardrobe well but offered little warmth, and on a rainy day in Kilkenny, Ireland, I caved and grabbed one from the H&M by the train station. (Some of you might be asking why I didn’t buy a wool scarf MADE IN IRELAND. In all honesty, I was worried I’d have to chuck it again–at the time I didn’t know my travel plans–and didn’t want to waste it.) This scarf is my preferred length of approximately a gogoplex feet so I can wrap it to my heart’s content, and is super cozy.
Packing footwear is tough. Even for an avid packer like me (I know, it’s weird that I relish packing for a trip, so sue me), it’s hard to decide what shoes to bring. This trip, I decided on my newly bought Lowas (win!), a pair of Asics that has walked and danced with me through most of my Eurotravels, a pair of Josef Seibel sandals for summer walking, and a pair of adorable Havaianas that I lost somewhere in Scotland. 😦
Early on, I knew I needed to ditch the Josef Seibels, and managed to send them home with my buddy Lauren when we met up in Greece to run with the Olympians. But by the time I finished WWOOFing in Italy, I was craving the shoes in the windows. The problem? BOOT SEASON HAD ARRIVED.
I had practical reasons for wanting the boots, though: it was getting cold, being the main one. And I love boots, being secondary. Sort of.
So, when a friend was getting rid of some boots during her move back to the States, I couldn’t resist: I accepted a pair. And guess what? Because I had managed to sort and revise the contents of my luggage as I went, there was enough room to fit the boots, even without wearing them on a plane.
When I got to Turkey, I birthday-gifted myself a pair of Hammerjacks that I’m now obsessed with and definitely plan to wear with skirts and dresses even when the seasons change. Some boots know no bounds.