Backpacking with Two Large Suitcases

I love almost everything about travel except the luggage. I always tell myself that I only have to lug the bags from curb to check in and back to curb, with slight iterations on the theme, and that makes it not too awful, since I have a system whereby I can handle it myself all at once.

Except for land travel.

Now I am in this zone where I don’t want to get into those packed suitcases and so I say, “oh, this will do for another day.” In this case, it has to do, as I wasn’t prepared for freezing rain in Provence with any degree of fashion sense, so I just pile on the layers anyway. That spot of the sweater sleeve? Another layer will hide it. A spot on the pants that I wouldn’t let pass on the ship is just fine today. And we haven’t even gotten to the grooming. Thank goodness for the chips of soap, and those sample size combined shampoo and conditioner of dubious provenance in the Air BnB. Works for me!

I will get the hang of this on My Year of Living Travelly. I already have been scoping out luggage storage at airports and other luggage services like Nannybag, and those will help a lot, as will a few tweaks of my packing system.

Notes to Laurel: Yes it is true that you think of doing laundry on the ship as the entry stage to hell, but that is because you have built it up in your mind. Bring enough for two weeks, max, period.

Just because you use almost everything you bring, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have brought much less. Just because travel clothes tend to be very light and don’t take up much room, you still don’t need so many. Just because you would like to have lots of choices, you aren’t home, so forget it. This applies to everything but earrings and necklaces, which must be applied liberally, as anyone who has traveled with me knows.

I have gotten better over the years, but still not anywhere good enough. One thing I know for sure—if people start giving me small change as they pass me in the street, I’d better open the suitcases!