The Modern Side of Packing

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

I know it has been a while since my last post. I’d like to say I have been busy but the truth is, I couldn’t find much that inspired me to write or find a topic that would interest anyone. I blame it on winter. It is getting harder and harder to wake up in the mornings to the expectation of another cold, bleak day. It freezes the brain or at least it does mine. The only redemption I felt was that in checking out the sites of my other bloggers I realized many of them also suffered a dry spell this winter. Like pushing a button, we all awoke from hibernation almost simultaneously.

So today I am writing about my preparation for an upcoming trip to France. It will start in Paris (of course) after which we hop a plane to Marseille where we board a cruise along the Rhone. Exciting, yes but the packing part still has me befuddled. My preparations always result in packing more for evening wear with too many shoes that are pretty but not comfortable to wear for touring or they are of a color other than black which works with an outfit that I only wear once. But now in light of the heavy fees associated with baggage, I am forced to control my impulse to travel with all my favorite footwear. I should consider Birkenstocks but I just can’t.

As I look through my closet for appropriate travel wear, I get that the problem is that my wardrobe is based on every day living – not for plane rides, sightseeing, bus trips, and living out of a suitcase. It is hard to minimize my life even for a week in a 28″ Samsonite. But then I saw a movie that made me realize that NASA inspired me to condense my luggage.

I recently saw the movie “First Man” about Neil Armstrong and the first space mission to the moon. While the mission itself was historical, I noticed something that made me understand the importance of the space program.

The astronauts were communicating from their space ship light years from earth to the command center at the Kennedy Space Center. That was 50 years ago and at least 25 years before cell phones. There wasn’t much room in those space capsules so these brilliant engineers developed equipment that fit. Hence personal computers were invented as was the microwave, freeze drying foods and a host of other modern conveniences.

If NASA can fit all this in a tiny space capsule, it is embarrassing to think I can’t pack for a one week vacation without paying extra for overweight luggage. So I am tackling the luggage with a new sense of direction. I am checking weather forecasts and believing them. No colored shoes, no summery dresses, no wear-it-only-once outfits. I have wasted enough money on trips buying clothes because I was freezing (San Francisco), or carrying too many outfits that were not worn (Sicily). I will also curtail the impulse to buy clothes in the country I am in which look great there but out of place everywhere else (Norway). I’ll let you know how this goes.

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