CappuccinoandArtJournal

Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pack It Light Because It Won't Be Easy To Carry

Maybe I should have bought this book for $1 when I had the chance at the Library Book sale....
well, it might have helped....

I love travel. Especially to other countries. And I love packing up the art kit.
But my suitcase? No fun at all.
Packing the suitcase (clothes) really stresses me out but I love packing up the art kit..the travel journal and mini notebook are first to go in the bag. I am actually much better that traveling light as far as art supplies go than I am with clothes...

A pencil and stick-it notes are important too -- I like the leave spots to add photographs and need to make notes about what I was thinking to add as I go....
Glue sticks are must-have items. I am always glueing something in those journals...
And I don't leave home without it -- double stick tape. I love the stuff.
Bits of ephemera, like stamps, come along with me...and, of course, I look in all the flea markets and shops and on the streets for more stamps and ephemera to add in the journal while I am away....
nothing is safe from me...
...and pens.....I like to use a fountain pen for the journal and a black Uni-ball micro 0.5mm pen for everything else.

Can you believe this? Get to the airport TEN minutes early for your flight?
TWENTY minutes early for International?
The really sad thing is that I can remember when it was like this, back in the day. TWO free suitcases to check and no one weighed your carry-on.
You would not believe the stuff I brought back from trips.
But those days are gone, my friends -- but I'm still going anyway!


You may have to buy your own water bottle at the airport but cocktails are free on international flights....

I am pretty sure I brought the wrong clothes for the weather but I know I brought the right stuff to play with my travel journal. I don't even need a scissors -- I like to tear!

So.....pretty soon I am off to points unknown......and in the meantime (besides agonizing over what clothes to pack) I have been trying to catch up my my mail -- so I have a nice pile of GOOD MAIL waiting for me when I get home....

So, friends -- any packing light suggestions???? Can any of you do three weeks with just a carry-on? I can't imagine -- where would I put all the junk I pick up off the streets????
I'm not going quite yet but I am getting ready and I need all the packing advice I can get so feel free to comment.
It's funny -- I have already been all over the world and I still have trouble packing.

Pack light and remember you have to lift that sucker up onto bullet trains and overhead racks.
I'm just sayin'.











23 comments:

  1. Are you serious??? You never shop TravelSmith? Girl, I take enough underwear, a few changes of mix-n-matchables, two pairs of shoes, maybe--depending on what I'll be doing-- and buy local for unexpected surprises. You don't ever mail packages home? If men can do the world with a backpack, why not us? Jeans, tees, clean underwear, toothbrush . . . Just the basics. Use as much paper stuff as possible before you come home. You need only one journal. Pack it up and mail it home. Leave as much space as possible for a souvenir for me, and you're good to go. :)Then again, I'm not good at international travel now that I'm 89. :)

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    1. Limner -- you are 89??? GET OUT!!! I don't believe it!! Nooooo I never mail packages home from Europe....too expensive and I may never get my stuff....noooo I have to sneak it home with me somehow...ask me about the rolls of of film in my bra during a terror alert in Germany...no, never mind...don't ask. And I don't wear jeans. Ever. But I am going to wear the hell out of my black skirt. And men? My hubby is more a clothes horse then I am. Now you see my problems? (plus yes, one travel journal but I need all the extra paper to use in collages....)

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  2. ooh they say not to take fountain pen on a plane it will leak, and you know they are right because mine leaked on me and luckily I had it packed in a ziploc bag, Happy travels

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    1. I've got that one covered, Bridget -- I don't put in the ink till I am there and pack the pen in a zip lock....thanks for the comment.....

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    2. I wondered about the pen too but figured you were ahead of us on that one. :) I still forget the messes high humidity makes with fountain pens, and I should remember better! :(

      Smart thinking, Bridget. I always forget.

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  3. Can you bring a medium sized bag and ask for help on the train? OR bring a large purse with option to carry on your back. For me a MUST have on overseas trips is to carry a fold up duffle that is very strong and allow myself to bring home what will fit in that bag and PAY to get it home. It was never realistic for me to NOT buy anything so I always bring a fold up bag to bring my treasures home in. Twice I mailed purchases from Japan. Once I lucked out and got to keep the mail bag and the second time I regretted not carrying on my vintage kokeshi doll aboard the plane.(Like Lucy Ricardo did when she tried disguise a hunk of cheese for baby!) I worried it would never arrive but it did. But you are getting advice from someone who wore two coats and a sweater on plane cause I couldn't fit in in my luggage and didn't want to pay. I also brought a broom aboard from Toyko and had to go through the agriculture dept of Customs! Bottom line you can get it home if you want it badly enough. Don't regret not buying it and paying for it to get home if you have too. As far as the clothes wear as much black as you can and bring a hat to stay cooler.

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    1. Monica--I am asking M. for help on the train! And yes, I do have a duffle tucked in my suitcase. I am just like you -- I've got to get it home. Funny thing is, I never shop fancy or expensive stores -- I pick up papers from the streets -- and free postal forms at the PO and the flea markets. I brought back three amazing books of stamps from a Russian flea market. I have also worn multiple clothes on the plane so I am def following in your footsteps. And black -- yes!

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  4. Look for a laundromat? I don't know where you are going, but I guess you can google them? I went on three week trips twice (ok, to the US, so nothing exotic), packed for about a week and used laundromats.

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    1. Good idea! I do wash a lot of stuff out in the sink too......

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  5. Sure, it can be done! I used to travel internationally for work. Sometimes 10 cities in 8 countries in a span of 3 weeks. You only need about a week's worth of clothes. Just plan on wearing everything at least 3-4 times. Don't worry, no one will care and everyone does it. Just take your favorites and things you can mix and match or layer. Pack basics: dark skirt, dark pants (2 pair), dark blazer or jacket that works with all the bottoms. I like to take my jean jacket and classic shirts like white or light blue button-downs, a shell or tank top, and lightweight sweater vest for layering. Pack lightweight accessories like scarves that can change your look and provide some warmth on cold flights or nighttime boat rides. Take a nicer dark-colored top and some jewelry to dress up a dark skirt for a night time event. Take a "Shout" pen to deal with unexpected stains, and I used to take the small individual packets of Woolite to wash things like socks and undies in my room at night. You can always get stuff dry-cleaned at your hotel or find a laundromat to do a quick load. Do take a second pair of shoes, not brand new and in a versatile style and color. Now, if you really want to pack light: plan to sleep naked (who needs PJs!?), and take all your old underwear and just throw them out as you go along. LOL. Oh, and pack a foldable canvas tote bag or take a backpack that can hold all those last minute purchases that won't fit in the carry-on, but will fit under your seat. Most of all: Have a great time, remain flexible, and approach everything as an adventure!

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    1. Well..Miss Iowa....thanks so much! My husband likes the sleep naked tip and I do throw out underwear......and ok, I will just plan on wearing the same things 3-4 times. But it is pretty warm where I'm going -- hope they don't get too stinky!
      Sounds like a plan -- and thanks for all those great tips and taking the time out to write them down for me.....

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  6. Heh! It sounds like we have the same affliction. I carried a pretty big suitcase (also two glue sticks, three kinds of washi tape, sissors, photo corners etc), but had space for my "stuff" (textiles, ceramics, locally made earrings and bracelets). Steve packed small and tight and bought many, many books. We both bought tons of stamps in Madrid. My suitcase was a pain on the train, and I had to ask for help...but I also didn't spend time doing laundry. My friend who joined us for a week traveled for a month with a carry on, and did laundry 8 times! I wish I had paid more attention to layering, but had skipped taking 4 scarves (a weakness), I bought one the first day, then had to resist the others. I did bring four pairs of shoes, and wore two different pairs every day. I could have skipped all the nice dress up for dinner clothes and had one black dress (from Travelsmith). I wore my raincoat for all of ten minutes in 17 days. In the future, I will invest in more "tech" shirts that dry fast. I used those cheap packing cubes from Ikea, but since I wear almost all black, everything looked the same and they were pretty frustrating for me at the end...I should have marked them with sharpies (t shirts, pants, long sleeved shirts). By the way, I love all of my purchases...you'll have a blast.

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    1. Hey Kim -- thanks for the info! Monica and I were asking "what did Kim wear?" so now we know....I would love more detail about the address for the stamp shops if you get a chance. I am bringing one black dress for nights and two black skirts for days and scarves....the suitcase on the train is my biggest worry but i think I will manage...I dragged it all over eastern Europe last year...and I LOVED all your photos and writing from your trip. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

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  7. Pamela, I brought 5 black t shirts and three long sleeved black shirts. I should have done two ls black shirts and one button up shirt I could have layered. Cheap, beautiful scarves were everywhere (like in Chinatown). I bought one for 3 euros my first day in Barcelona, and then had to skip the others, since I had four in my suitcase. I would have skipped those, and bought as I traveled. I just remembered two more things I loved having...a cheap set of watercolors (Steve had nice ones, I bought a set for $1 at Target, just to add more texture to my journal) and my FitBit. Loved seeing those 20,000+ step days!

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    1. Kim -- all black -- I can see you are my type of dresser. But I would never pass up a scarf -- I am addicted to them. I will be on the look-out for sure. And about the 20,000 steps -- I always eat like a pig on vacation including desserts and I never gain an oz because of all the walking.....I want a cheap set of watercolors to bring too...on my list.....I wonder where all the cheap, beautiful scarves actually come from? China? Where there a lot leather goods? Like zippered pouches, wallets? I saw a lot in Italy last time and always wished I bought more .....

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  8. Oh, this sounds like such fun! Have a GREAT time, can't wait to "see" peeks into your travel journal when you get back. It will worth the wait, I'm sure!

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    1. Thank you, Pam -- the travel journal is all prepped and ready for take-off!

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  9. Me, too, I pack all black with a few colorful scarves and socks (if I'm heading for cooler climates. I'm a light packer. I draw my outfits out on paper, and then pare down. I like your visuals for this post & the TWA is nostalgic (age be known, I worked for them.) Enjoy your trip!

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    1. mim -- I am wondering why my suitcase is so heavy when I really, really tried to pare down.....I can't sketch but I did photograph each outfit on my phone so I can see what I brought and what goes with what without having to look thru the packing cubes in my suitcase....I thought that was a rather clever idea...You worked for TWA????? Too bad you don't have a little storage unit filled with TWA stuff like those tote bags etc -- that is so high;y collectible these days.

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    2. I had a pen leak once, too, then realized that I had to take the cartridges out, duh.

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    3. I wish I had that red bag, too. what I have is my little pin, business card, a red pencil, and some notecards. Who knew back then to save everything. Who knew that TWA would go away forever. Or Pan Am, or Piedmont, or Ozark or Braniff. So it goes.

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    4. I know -- who did know what to save and not save? And you really can't save everything......the pin sounds fun! I'd wear it. But that red TWA bag....ooooOooOooo love it.

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