Bangkok, around seven years ago: Will and I were about to head to the airport to go home. We struck up conversation with another Kiwi (who knew someone I knew, funnily enough - two degrees, etc) and went on to share a taxi.
I was impressed by how lightly she packed -- an everyday sized backpack and a tote bag, from memory, whereas I had been lugging around one of those big 60L backpacking monstrosities for three weeks around Tokyo and Thailand. Those packs have their place (tramping, festivals, or transporting your favourite possessions when moving across the world, like I did last year), but I couldn't help thinking how I would have been a much happier traveller had I not had to constantly schlep around a good fifteen kilos on my back.
Ever since then I've tried to pack light, with varying levels of success. For this trip, a week-long Greek sailing holiday, I went as minimal as I could. It helps that it was hot, and that we pretty much only fly with the budget airlines where you have to pay extra for checked luggage. This is SO NERDY, but here's what I packed, for anyone out there who obsesses over this stuff like I do:
- Three dresses -- a long black maxi (similar to this one, but in stretch cotton) and a short racerback tank dress (similar to this one, but with a twisted back), both from & Other Stories, plus a white linen sundress with crochet panels from Country Road several years ago (second from left in this pin).
- Soft white button up shirt from Miss Selfridges, similar to this, and denim shorts from H&M - I probably could have done without both of these.
- Two pairs of shoes -- jandals from Muji and plain black chunky sandals (£10 from a local department store).
- Two pairs of togs -- a one-piece and a bikini. Next time: two bikinis, which would double as bras.
- Undies! And two bras.
- Blue cotton towel from Sicily -- chartering the boat included towels but I used this as a sarong as well.
- Two plain black singlets (H&M) and a pair of soft black shorts (Trenery) for sleeping.
- My beloved Saben Tilly's Big Sister handbag for going onshore, and a backpack from H&M (similar to this) as my carry on "personal item" for stuff like my diary, camera, notebook, phone, and travel documents. The challenge for next time is a smaller personal item.
- Sunglasses, an aviator style. I dropped them in a dirty toilet just before we left for the airport BAHAHAHAHAH. Luckily they were $5 from Cotton On.
Cosmetics-wise, I tried to fit everything into this Muji case and the regulation-sized ziplock bag (although I cheated and put some stuff in Will's). It's a mixture of favourites and a few new things I've been playing with:
- Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder SPF25PA++ (£1 at the local pound store! I think this is an Asia-only release), applied using the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush (from the duo fiber collection). I know from past experience that liquids and BB creams would simply melt off my face in the 30+ degree heat, so I just used the powder over the top of sunscreen if I felt like a bit of coverage.
- ArtDeco Queen of the Jungle Bronzing Glow Blusher (limited edition from a couple of years ago, but still available here and they seem to do a variation on the theme every now and then), applied with the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush.
- Estee Lauder Doublewear dual ended eyeliner in Onyx and Coffee (I think this was a limited edition release; the full sized version has a smudger on the other end), smudged out with the Real Techniques Shading Brush, and the Makeup Revolution Awesome Double Flick Liquid Eyeliner. I probably could have done with leaving one of the liner options behind.
- L'Oreal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof Mascara, previously reviewed here.
- Four lip products: Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Ink in Peony (previously reviewed here), MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge (LE, but I wish they would make this formula permanent! Temptalia review here), Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, and the Marc Jacobs (P)outliner Longwear Lip Pencil in Nude-ist. Same thing here -- probably could have done with just one or two options, like a red lipstick and a MLBB tinted lip balm or something.
- Eyelash curler -- this one is from Muji, but I also have ones from No.7 and Eyeko. Next time I would just pack my new Muji travel sized curler -- a full sized curler in a more compact shape. It's tiny!
- Coppertone facial and body sunscreens (these were three for £1 at the local pound shop; another Asia-only release I think), contact lens solution (FYI: no one seemed to sell solutions for RGPs in Greece, and mine got confiscated at customs because it was 120 mLs... woe), and mini shampoo and conditioner (I got the Charles Worthington Sunshine Protector range from Boots).
- Collistar Glycolic Acid, previously reviewed here.
- A freebie pack of Simple Face Wipes (although I've bought them in the past) to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then I would do a second cleanse with the (shock horror) freebie soap on board.
- Lush solid perfume in Karma, in the old push up packaging -- such a gorgeous scent! It's an orange and patchouli blend, and almost smells fizzy, if that makes sense.
- Skinny cotton buds from Muji, a few cotton pads, tweezers, and hair ties.
Looking back, I could definitely have gone lighter, but hey... [insert something about minimalism being a journey, not a destination]. What about you -- what can't you travel without? How many lip options would you be happy with? And would you mind if I write more travel posts? I've got a lot more to say about Greece!
Extras for experts: How to Pack Like Joan Didion (Into The Gloss).