Carrying on

It feels like forever since I’ve checked luggage when traveling. I think I initially got away from it because of the added expense, but cost was not the only reason I abandoned the indulgence of checked luggage. I’ve heard far too many nightmares about bags not making it to their destination, particularly during these crazy airline industry days. Factor in the additional headache of queuing up at the luggage carousel and the delay in exiting the airport and actually getting vacation going and I’ve learned to be a most efficient packer.

I know I’ve shared my definition of good packing (wearing every article of clothing packed) before but I don’t believe I’ve ever itemized each item I’ve packed. In a few sentences from now, I’m going to do exactly that so, buckle up!

But, first, let me explain why I’m feeling compelled to share my packing list* with you all. For reasons I don’t understand,**I have been borderline obsessed with my Ireland travel wardrobe. It’s been weeks of me considering what to bring, coming up with a color scheme (black, grey and an array of shades of green) and placing desired items on a special Ireland 2023 list on my Rent the Runway app. Mentally, I’ve imagined combinations of garments and considered necessary accessories – a scarf or two, necklaces, earrings, the right footwear.

Yesterday I placed my final pre-travel order from RTR, treating myself to both an extra spot and a new handbag to add to my Kate Spade collection. Assuming those Joe’s Jeans which I had been stalking fit, all that’s left to do is to actually pack. Here’s what’s going in my carry on:

2 dresses – one shortsleeved silk***, one long sleeved jersey

1 pair of cool corduroys***

1 amazing statement sweater***

1 short skirt*** (ok, it’s a mini. What can I say? I’ve got great legs)

1 lightweight cotton jacket

2 turtlenecks – 1 shortsleeved, 1 long sleeved and sparkly

2 black tops – 1 shortsleeved, 1 long sleeved

Tights, both regular and footless


socks and undergarments

black booties and a pair of Altra trail shoes

Does that seem like a lot? Unlike when I went to Greece last summer, the weather promises to be unpredictable in Ireland. It could rain, every day even. Clothing that keeps a person warm and dry tends to be weighty, which is why, a la Heidi of the Swiss Alps, I’ll be wearing the heaviest clothes for the actual journey from Albany to JFK, and upon return.

My travel outfit consists of a pair of cool Joe’s Jeans,*** a long sleeved, jersey, black t-shirt, a boiled wool zip up cardigan, Dansko clogs and a fantastic and versatile black jacket.*** I’ll have a pashmina in soft yellow stuffed in my “personal” item; a Hershel backpack in army green. Planes and airports and buses can be icy and I can always strip layers off and stash them in my backpack if I get overheated.

As the trip grows closer, I find myself getting giddy with excitement. My wardrobe is on point, but that’s certainly not the primary reason for my eagerness. I simply can’t wait to carry on in Ireland with N.

*you make a packing list, don’t you?

**I have a theory – although N and I have traveled together, this is the first vacation we’ve planned together, departure to return. This is also, not coincidentally, the first time I’ve traveled in many, many years with a partner. At least a partner with whom I remained for the duration of the trip. It’s “Our” trip, not my trip and that’s different and feels a touch out of my control. Which is probably something I need in my life.

I know I can at least control how I appear and I bet that’s why I’m hyper focused on my wardrobe. Ta-da! Saved myself a therapy copay. 😊


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