Here I stand with suitcase in hand, wondering what on earth to pack. What do I really need, can’t travel without? What’s the climate going to be like, what’s appropriate for the culture, and why do I seem to have way too much stuff for the length of time I’m going to be away?
Ah yes, the delights and wonder of packing. I’m currently sorting clothes and checking weather for my upcoming travel adventure to Paris (one day), Bangalore, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Tips I’ve learned from past travels to Paris: comfortable shoes are a necessity, a scarf in winter is a good thing and a nice pair of pants, blouse, and layering with a sweater will take you a long way. More often than not the skies have shared their tears – include a small umbrella. My favorite portable, hand held, paper map. Depending on the weather forecast, some type of coat. A purse/bag that holds my wallet, map, and phone/camera – preferably one that goes across my body and doesn’t weigh down one shoulder, yet still looks stylish.
Done. The trick is that it’s rather chilly in Paris right now, for the one day I will be out and about soulstrolling, and then I won’t need any of those layers in the 80+ degree weather for the rest of my journey.
Hm…what to do? Don’t know yet, hence the packing work in progress. I don’t do well with last minute packing. It tends to stress me out and I end up throwing too much stuff in my suitcase. If possible, I give myself time. I’m a ponderer and visualizer so organizing and gathering potential outfits is like crafting a masterpiece (a sense of humor and embracing one’s inner artist goes a long way).
What I’ve learned from traveling in India: safety pins are necessary. Once while using the ‘restroom’ in a building in a rural village, the draw string on my Salwar Kameez trousers broke. The tie split in two and there was no longer any way of holding up my pants. Hm. What to do? Fortunately a fellow traveler had a safety pin. Guiding the pin on one end of the tie inside the waistband of my outfit I was able to attach the broken ends and restring the waistband – voilà – my pants were no longer falling down to my ankles.
Also helpful: hand sanitizer, kleenex, disposable wipes, insect repellent (20% deet), sunscreen, chapstick, scarf to cover my head, sandals with a thick heel (favorite are Danskos – in case of accidentally stepping in a gift left by a cow), immodium, benadryl, antibiotics (in case of the sneak attack of traveler’s diarrhea), malaria meds if needed depending on the area in which you’re traveling, some extra $ and a sense of humor.
This is my first time venturing to Sri Lanka and the Maldives so I’m going with what I’ve read: my cotton clothes from India, scarf for covering my head at religious sites, pair of shorts for our Adam’s Peak hike, lightweight running shoes, one long sleeve layering top, flip-flops, swimsuit, sunglasses, sunscreen and a cover- up.
As with any SoulStrolling journey, we’ll see what really gets worn and what might be missing. What are your must haves for traveling? Favorite shoes that keep your sole/soul ‘happy’? Any packing tips for Sri Lanka and the Maldives?
If you’d like to experience SoulStrolling then consider joining Kayce S. Hughlett and me on our upcoming Urban Paris Pilgrimage, http://www.soulstrolling.com