As I write this, I am now 12 days away from leaving. Or not I, but "we" since it's actually 13 of us! Lucky 13, right? :) Between the textile making, pottery, yoga, and cooking lessons, we have a good mix of activities planned--- but it seems the main goal for the clothing items on the trip (and let's be honest, my life in general) is comfort and function first.
I've sort of started packing, but then I stop, because "this can't be this easy, right!?" Let's be honest here-- my wardrobe isn't that big. And with the exception of a handful of bright dresses, I like to wear the same staple pieces over and over again. And with the weather being similar enough, I'm pretty much equipped. So in my world, packing is sort of easy. Especially that it's only me and not the three of us packing. And on top of it all, I'm OCD enough where I've already packed in my head 10x over ;) Funny enough, I'm actually expecting to be on the cold side in India. As I've been checking the temperature every few days, I'm realizing that southern florida is warmer than india during this "winter" season.
1. scarf (from here)
2. a passport AND visa, duh.
3. light tanks for layering. (I like these or these)
4. blue plaid pants (from here, but no longer available) / rainbow pants (from here, similar) / zig zag pants / black white pants / my only pair of jeans.
5. a heavy cozy sweater (mine was thrifted, here's a similar one)
6. a larger carry-on bag for your more necessary goods + one outfit in case your other luggage gets lost (mine here, on sale)
A scarf is a great multifunctional purchase for traveling. You can use it to shade your head from the sun while exploring cities, to cover your shoulders when entering a temple, or to keep warm in the chillier evenings.
Lisa and I already mentioned this in our International travel post, but please please be sure you look into what paperwork you need to enter a country. For india you need a travelers visa. Also, as mentioned, it's really valuable to make copies of all paperwork to keep with you. One for you, one for someone trusted staying back home.
It's all about layering. All my clothes are relatively lightweight anyway--- it's good to have breathable lightweight layers. Think cotton or natural materials as much as possible. A few tank tops, long sleeve tops, one light sweater and one thick one.
SHORTS VS PANTS.
I live in shorts. You guys know that. It's certain I'll at least get one comment about me wearing pants when it happens. With the exception of a few days this winter, me in pants is like a mystical unicorn. But it's important to keep other customs and traditions in mind when traveling. So with that said, I'll be leaving my shorts at home. It's customary to be pretty covered up in India. Long pants and long sleeves. Could I wear a tank top? Maybe, but it's good to think about what you'll be bringing with you that can help access that place you are in by assimilating and not standing out. You're already a tourist, it's better to just stay comfortable and keep others comfortable by respecting the norm. So pants: yes. Shorts: nope.
A SWEATER (& SWIMSUIT TOO).
For as long as I can remember, I've always had the rule that I must bring both WHEREVER I travel. You just never know, right?!? The temperatures can drop pretty deep at night in india. Much colder than here anyway. And flying across the world can bring some pretty cool temperatures on the plane too. Always bring at least one comfortable sweater. A swimsuit? In India? I questioned it. But for our trip specifically, we actually upgraded all the ladies this week (and ourselves, duh) to a pretty amazing 5 star hotel--- with a gorgeous pool area. While much of our trip is planned out, everything is flexible. So our ladies have the opportunity to skip a workshop or skip yoga and just lounge in their room or by the pool if wanted. And while it's appropriate to be covered up with pants in the city, within hotel grounds, a swimsuit is completely acceptable. And a swimsuit doesn't take up much space anyway.
A TRAVEL BAG
I think my biggest difficulty in packing is just figuring out a bag situation. I don't want to pack or carry too much. When traveling anywhere, it's important to have a closed top purse (if any purse)for your day to day. In life thats generally a good rule. I splurged on a weekend bag last week. I've been needing one for a while now anyway. This one was vegan, beautiful, and even Marlowe pointed it out that it doubles as a pillow, haha!
BRING VS BUY.
1. reusable bag
2. hand sanitizer
4. a camera
5. facial wipes
6. comfortable, easy wash shoes
No matter how you travel, you're leaving foot print behind. So while traveling, it's important to think about how you can leave a lesser impact, like you would at home. I like to travel with a reusable bag. It's good if you go shopping or if you just need to carry random things along the way. Also, we will be market shopping for food for our cooking lessons, so it'll def. come in handy then!
I'm bringing hand-santizer, soaps, pain relievers, my women's multi-vitamins to last the week, among other things. Germs are everywhere. So bring the things you might personally need to keep you extra healthy. Stomach aids, tissues, whatever.
I'm bringing at least two pairs. Sounds crazy, one is really all you should need, but for me, I have the most sensitive eyes ever-- why I got Lasik. My eyes water in the overcast light, so pure sun? Forget it. I'm bringing two incase I lose or break one.
Duh. With lots of memory. And my computer to dump photos--- and work there too, hopefully maybe. probably.
Lisa and I went back on forth on how we feel about facial wipes. On one hand its great to clean the dirt of your face, on the other, we then have to reapply sunscreen. Either way, they're good, even just to help you skip a face wash. I found these (in photo above) that are eco-friendly and support a good cause. I also like to bring witch hazel wipes when I travel since witch hazel is a part of my regular routine.
You need to worry about two things here: comfort and ease. We're going to be doing a lot of walking and exploring so the shoes need to be comfortable and keep you blister free. But they also need to be easy to slide on and off since it's customary to remove your shoes at a lot of places. Another thing to consider: how easy are my shoes to clean? A little silly, but I love jelly shoes. I still have the same pair from when I was 13! I found the pair in photo above, HERE, on clearance (they were even cheaper when I purchased them). They're super easy to slide on and off, they're comfortable, and you can just hose them off if they get dirty. Perfect for our pottery day! I'll bring atlas one other pair of shoes, sneakers or flats.
Wow, this was significantly longer than I thought it would be-- and I didn't even touch on everything! :) We've been putting together lots of packets (and some gifts) for our ladies. It's coming on so fast, it's crazy!
I was supposed to do a cooking demo this weekend, but ended up turning it down for fear of taking on way to much before my trip. I already have my own flight anxiety to deal with, haha ;) I still hope to stop by the festival though :) Other than that I just hope to make this time leading up to the trip an amazingly busy fun time.
I hope you guys all have a fabulous weekend! If you have more travel must have's, favorite travel shoes, luggage, whatever, please feel free to leave them below!