The Quest to be the Perfect Packer
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“Long down coat, short shell, fleece jacket, but I like my anorak, will that fit? Three coats is excessive I think, is it really? But I really like this other coat that goes with nothing else I own. Should I buy something? Where do I even go to buy the right layer? Ahhhhhhh.”

That was my brain spending most of a day trying to figure out what the perfect jacket/shell/layering system for my upcoming trip to South America would be. Well, let’s be honest, it was more than a day. Much more than a simple coat decision deserved.

I have this fantasy of the kind of traveler I wish I was. Effortlessly and stylishly wheeling my suitcase through JFK without struggle or discomfort and prepared for any occasion on the road. I am constantly trying to achieve that fantasy. But as Merriam-Webster will tell you, a fantasy is “something that is produced by the imagination: an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality”. So I guess that’s inherently my ultimate problem. I’m trying to achieve something that doesn’t exist.

[blockquote author=”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry” pull=”normal”]”He who would travel happily must travel light.”[/blockquote]

I love the idea of the capsule wardrobe and that it could translate to travel. A set of items so perfect and simple that they always work together. I have found a few perfect things over the years. I’ve repeated worn down and bought over and over my favorite Reef Ginger flip flops. I have a chambray shirt that I practically live in on the road and at home. And every trip I find another item or two that I love. If I ever complete my capsule travel wardrobe, I’ll let you know.

I ended up buying a short down coat to wear with a shell jacket that I already own. Now I’m onto finding travel toiletries but I am trying to chill out a little bit on making that list perfect for all my what if scenarios. As someone reminded me, “you know they have stores in other countries right?” Yes, I will remember that. Now do you know where I can find the perfect travel size shampoo?