A Lesson in Minimalism
You may have heard by now that I recently returned from an amazing 2 week vacation, but this post isn’t about the trip itself, but more the amount of shit I took with me and the lesson I learned in minimalism… because I seriously overpacked for this trip!
Packing was a challenge for a few reasons: 1. I don’t really get dressed on a daily basis since I work from home and am pretty much a hermit. This left me wondering which clothes to even bring with me. 2. I wasn’t just going back to CO for 2 weeks, part of the trip included a road trip to Santa Fe, NM and Sedona, AZ. Which meant I needed comfy, road trip clothes but also items fit for the desert heat…in summer. 3. Since becoming vegan I also wanted to ensure I was packing part of my kitchen with me. E.g. hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and other things I already had on hand and didn’t want to re-purchase; as well as food for the airport/plane (in my reusable containers of course!) and snacks to take along while we were driving.
I ended up with 2 suitcases and a seriously heavy backpack. I’ll spare you the particulars on what I packed, even though I took inventory; but I will say that I probably could’ve left half of it at home. I basically ended up wearing the same few items over and over again (similarly to how I dress at home) and I definitely didn’t need to bring boots, my jean jacket, 2 hoodies and a cardigan with me! (What?! I remember CO evenings getting chilly!)
I knew I was in for it, even while I was packing. I have prior experience in over packing (something I really do try to avoid) and I remembered that it was pretty horrible carrying my
monstrously gigantic suitcase up two flights of stairs. And really, the reason I even used 2 suitcases was because my larger one was just under 50lbs… and I knew I’d be bringing more stuff home with me than I took out… but even as I type this, I can see that these were just excuses. I think the real, underlying factor was fear of missing something and not having it with me. *deep sigh*
Anyway, it sucked having 2 suitcases once I landed in Denver and was on my own. (Thanks hubby for walking into the airport with me and helping me check my bags!) I also needed to catch a shuttle to the rental car place, but luckily the driver helped me load my bags. And after picking my sister up from the airport the next day, I was also shocked to see that she packed everything she needed for her weeklong vacation, into a single carryon and was perfectly fine!! After that, I spent the night before our road trip reorganizing and packing everything I thought I would need into the smaller of my suitcases. Guess what? It was just fine! (Granted, we were on a road trip, so all of our snacks and things could be placed in the car, not just in my suitcase – so that helped.)
But I was faced with my double suitcase issue once we returned to CO, as I was leaving my mom’s house to stay with some friends closer to Denver. Luckily, my hubby arrived in town and was able to help me with all of my stuff! BWAHAHAHA *insert evil laugh here* Just kidding, he is pretty amazing though!
When thinking about packing for a trip, and of the activities and people you will be seeing, it can seem daunting to have enough outfits so that you’re not in the same t-shirt in every.single.picture. But as I get older, as my priorities are changing, I’m realizing that I honestly don’t give a shit about certain things that I used to really care about. Like wearing the same mascara for 3 days.
The major takeaway from this experience was that it doesn’t really matter what I bring with me. I’m really the only one that cares about what I’m wearing or how I look. And honestly, I should just prioritize what to pack, based on the items that I love, wear, and feel the best in, the most. Because packing too much is a stressor and that’s the opposite of self care. I’m trying to live the most stress free lifestyle that I possibly can.
Hopefully I remember this the next time I travel! Wish me luck folks! And if you made it through this entire post, please leave me an airplane emoji on social media!