The Perfect Travel Wardrobe
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Sir Ralph Fiennes
Packing takes me a very long time because I need to bring the perfect travel clothes. The perfect travel clothes work in any type of weather and for all social situations. I am always prepared.
Why am I so caught up in this? Because I truly believe that to have the perfect travel experience, I need to have brought the perfect wardrobe. In Vilnius, Lithuania I almost missed seeing all the brides coming for photographs on the lake because i was looking up at the sky deciding if I would need to put my raincoat on or not. (one of many, many brides -all weddings are on Sunday -otherwise they start counting the months)
In Ankara, Turkey the worst thing happened. There was a downpour. My raincoat and umbrella were in the van. I was wearing canvas heeled shoes at the Ataturk memorial and museum . The museum had the one souvenir store that didn’t sell umbrellas. They would not let me walk back through the U-shaped museum to the van. No one spoke English for me to try to explain why I couldn’t get wet. I had to walk in heels in a downpour across the wet, slippery, marble courtyard.(very slowly). Yes I was cold and wet for the rest of the day but nothing bad happened.
On this past trip to London, they had an unusual cold spell. It was freezing . I hung out more at the hotel, made friends and took more cabs. I had the wrong clothes and still had a great time and lived to tell the story.
It rained and was cold, almost the whole time I was in Russia. I did have a raincoat and an umbrella and one sweater ( which I wore every day). I was thinking summer travel when I packed. There is a joke in Russia. “How was your summer?” “I missed it. I had to work that day.” I didn’t hear that joke until I was there.
The best thing is layers. Sometimes I get caught up in that. In the Andes, it can be hot cold, sunny and rainy in the same afternoon. I’m taking the jacket off. I’m putting the jacket on. Do I need the rain jacket or the sweater? Do I need the mosquito repellent clothes today or tomorrow? Is this the day I need to wear flat shoes or the hiking boots?
I’m always very interested in who I am when I travel because I never dress that way at home. I wear leggings with everything. They don’t take up much space. I bring a few little dresses or long skirts. Black and white work well.
I hate being dressed wrong. That is often the case, when I am traveling. I’m getting used to it.
It takes much longer to pack when I am traveling to different weather in the same trip. I bring a leather jacket, thin rain jacket, sweater, hat, gloves,a thermal shirt. Long and short leggings , tank tops, a skirt and long and short cotton T-shirts. That should get me through everything.
My clothes are sprayed with mosquito repellent when I am in malaria/dengue countries. Only a few things have been treated, so lately all my pictures are in the same outfits from different trips to countries that have mosquitos.
I’m a spiller. I live in mortal fear of having a huge coffee stain on my one white shirt so I always bring at least two. It has never happened – yet. Maybe I am just more careful with my food when I travel.
I plan. I make lists. I edit. I re-edit. I edit again. The rule of thumb is that you always need fewer clothes than you think you do.
Lately I notice i am wearing the same clothes in all my pictures. I have developed a travel wardrobe. It seems to be working. The thing about making packing mistakes is that you start to learn that is ok. It is ok to be wet, cold, hot or dressed wrong and you will still have an amazing trip. Now if only I could learn to bring less shoes.