I am leaving for a three-week trip to Italy, traveling to five different cities, and I have decided to take up a challenge: To bring only a backpack and a purse! That means only taking the most necessary items with me. I am, literally, weighing every decision and let me tell you, I have been agonizing over what I can’t live without and what I have to let stay behind.
It is really challenging me by helping me define what I think I need to hang on to, to feel more secure.
For instance, I am bringing only a bare minimum of makeup and absolutely nothing to “do” my hair with! No curling iron and no straightener. (They are kinda heavy.) I’ve cut my hair to a shorter length, knowing it would be easier to take care of. I also know I have my wigs if I need longer hair when I come home. I also let go of the mindset that I have to look a certain way to be beautiful. I just want to have a good time and not feel pressured to look a certain way.
I stopped getting tips on my nails since I’m not sure how to get a “fill” or how to describe gel, verses acrylic, in Italian! You know I can’t make three weeks without a fill, so now my nails are natural.
Packing was challenging. Three weeks before my trip, I started with three piles:
- Which bras were the most comfortable and how many would do?
- Tee shirts that weren’t too colorful and bright for Europe.
- Clothes that are light and dry quickly and a jacket I could use both during the day and for evening strolls.
I am bringing three pairs of shoes. I found a pair of walking shoes that are semi-waterproof, but also light and comfortable; a pair of black, lightweight sneakers and a pair of evening flats.
It was interesting to take stock of what items I can’t live without and find others that were useful in more than one area. I have the basics like toothpaste, pain reliever and bandaids, but I’m taking oils that are also beneficial. I have a small vial of oil for my face—and hair—as I’m not sure I’ll find conditioner. I also wanted to take an essential oil that was an antiseptic, and had a variety of uses, so I chose Tea Tree oil and lavender. The lavender also helps me to relax.
So this trip will be an adventure in more ways than one. I am leaving behind things that make me happy or feel good about myself, and venturing out with the bare minimum as I concentrate on new and wonderful sights and culture. I plan on enjoying things that are not in my comfort zone and trying new things for personal growth. What a trip!