Travel? Not without certain comforts of home

When we decided to be world bohemians for 4 months, it was clear that we nevertheless would need (want?) some comforts of home. Mindful of the bags we would be dragging our intention was to be ruthless and pack only what was absolutely necessary. In Italy especially, elevators are few, and the cobble stones streets and sidewalks to not make it easier to drag a spinner suitcase out of train station. I can’t tell you how many times we culled back on favourite jackets, dresses, tshirts, sweaters and shoes. We knew we would be wearing the same things more or less, and washing often.

Beyond the clothes, its the other items you don’t think you can live without. Like my favourite lotion – would one bottle be enough? And perfume…just two?? I can’t begin to tell you how many times I went through the medical supplies. Of course, a five month supply of our prescriptions, but a small bottle of cold syrup in case we got sick? Sleeves of Robixacet in case my sciatica acted up? What about antihistamines in case of pollen? The discussions went on and on, for way too long.

In the end, the “whimsical” items we allowed ourselves included the following: each of our IPADs and phones with full texting and calling privileges, both of our headsets (even thought ear plugs would have been a slimmer option), my perfect pillow found after years of trying so many types, a Hudson Bay fleece blanket we bought in Calgary which brought just the right amount of warmth when we travelled, our remote speaker, so we could amplify our favourite tunes and music, a deck of cards and some dice. None of these have been regrets.

Are there things we brought along that we haven’t yet used after almost two months on the go? Of course. But the trip is only halfway through. Some of these things will be used likely on the remaining leg of our journey. Like fancy sandals – I have yet to use them, but will likely wear them on the cruises. And perhaps not.

For sure next time, and I ALWAYS, always say this after every trip, – less clothes. We do end up wearing the same thing, and we do laundry at least once a week….so if you think I am always wearing the same blouse in the pictures…you are right. Why oh why do we forget this whenever we pack?

We are ruled by risk management. What if its hot/cold? Surely I will be excersizing every day and needing the workout clothes…., and what if there is that kind of evening? The only thing we skimped on was warm clothing and thankfully, it has been unusually warm in Italy, and warm clothing has not been needed.

Despite this thorough attention to our baggage contents, there was a random item that made it in the bags. A roll of packing tape. The night before our flight, we taped up the last box to go into storage. I tucked it into my purse with the intention of leaving it with my brother who dropped us off at the airport. Low and behold, it was still with us when we went through security. It has actually proved to be quite handy on this trip, and we have pulled it out a few times to patch a torn plastic bag, tape a few towels to a patio chair for a more comfortable seat, etc.

The moral of this story? Skimp on the clothes, but don’t skimp on the items that will make your trip more comfortable. We use the blanket and the pillow every night, we spend mornings on our IPADs, play dice or cards every day that we are home, listening to music on our UBoom, These items make us feel like we are home – and then we pinch ourselves and remind ourselves we are in living in Italy! Just like home, but not.

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