Packing light is a mindset

Rodin Museum garden, Paris.  Gray skirt, rain jacket, knee socks, Keen mary janes

Rodin Museum garden, Paris. Gray skirt, rain jacket, knee socks, Keen mary janes

I posted my packing list for our recent trip to France.  I found packing for that trip to be challenging as we were taking a river cruise and then going to Paris — both places where a person wants to look “nice.”  It was much harder to pack for France than for Mexico, the Galapagos, or Australia, where we were did more casual outdoor pursuits or spent time on a beach.  In addition, the weather in France was cooler, meaning some warmer clothes were needed.

Most advice about packing tells you to make sure all of your tops go with all of your bottoms for easy mixing and matching.  Of course, this is good advice.  But the thing that has helped me the most in packing light is this:  you don’t need as much as you think you do.  Here’s why:

1.  No one cares what you are wearing.  If people are thinking about clothes or shoes at all, they are thinking about what THEY are wearing.

2.  You will likely see different people every day, or every few days.  Thus, you can wear the same thing again (and again).  (See number 1, they don’t care what you are wearing anyway!)

3.  If it becomes unexpectedly hot, cold, rainy, etc., buy something you need.  This is how I got some nice wool tights on sale in Melbourne.  And a fine floppy straw hat in Turkey.  If you pack light, you will have room in your bag for such a purchase.

4.  You will feel better wearing the same three things you LOVE than hauling around a giant suitcase of different outfits that don’t make you feel great.

Here are some examples of my outfits on the France trip.  Soon, I will post pictures of the clothes I packed.  I wish I had pictures of all the outfits, but alas, we don’t take THAT many photos!

 

Breakfast on the Viking Forseti; pink tank top, gray skirt

Breakfast on the Viking Forseti; pink tank top, gray skirt

The Louvre.  Gray long sleeve t-shirt; black jeans.

The Louvre. Gray long sleeve t-shirt; black jeans.

Winery tour in Sauternes; black and white top, white zip-front shirt, black skirt, Keen mary janes

Winery tour in Sauternes; black and white top, white zip-front shirt, black skirt, Keen mary janes

Arc de Triomphe with new friends; gray polo, black skirt, leggings

Arc de Triomphe with new friends; gray polo, black skirt, leggings

Rodin Museum garden, Paris.  Gray skirt, rain jacket, knee socks, Keen mary janes

Rodin Museum garden, Paris. Gray skirt, rain jacket, knee socks, Keen mary janes

Champagne on the Forseti; charcoal dress, green scarf

Champagne on the Forseti; charcoal dress, green scarf

Winery tour, Bordeaux.  Black jacket, purple skirt, leggings, scarf

Winery tour, Bordeaux. Black jacket, purple skirt, leggings, scarf

Deck of Forseti; black white zip-front top

Deck of Forseti; black white zip-front top

Cheese plate in Bordeaux.  Black jacket, sweater, green scarf.

Cheese plate in Bordeaux. Black jacket, sweater, green scarf.

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