Ahh my thoughts have been focused on packing for a two week international trip to Dubai and India. The military taught me how to pack light. It’s all about clean underware and a tooth brush right? However, February in northern India should have mild days and cooler nights. So I’m thinking layers. Then there is the question of respecting Indian culture and having modest outfits that cover. THEN, I know I’ll be practicing yoga and walking around a lot. THEN, there is the cost of heavy bags. The local Indian flights allow small, light bags and charge a lot for overweight bags… hmmmm. THEN, there is the thought of buying clothes and items once I get there. So much to think through.
How much to bring? What kind of shoes? How many pants, shirts, scarves and so on? Good thing I like to plan and I’m pretty good at it. I start with a chart of how many days I will be there including travel days. I have a rough idea of what activities will happen on each day. The only real “known” about what I’m packing is this; if I map out 15 days, then I know I will bring 15 skivvies. Undies are small, light weight and pretty easy to pack. Another random thought, I keep reading to stay away from denim. So my usual stretchy jeans are out. But what else to include?
I bought some fun, practical harem pants. You know the baggie ones that look ridiculous. I bought a white pair for the ashram. I wore them once already and couldn’t get over how comfy and practical they really are. So I think they are going to make the cut. But then my minimalist voice says, they are white and most likely be harder to wash. So not sure about them. I have a good scarf collection, so choosing which one to bring is the hard part. I really want to buy scarves from India. So I think the scarf decision will come down to space.
Ahh space, that’s the next question, backpack, roller bag, more than one bag, a bag for getting stuff home? I know for sure, I will be on and off planes, trains and automobiles. Plus, moving from a hotel to an ashram and back. Then there is a day in Dubai. So now you know why I’m leaning towards minimalist packing. The challenge to that approach, is I’m a creature of comfort and I like variety. Those virtues drive me to packing more stuff.
I do have packing cubes, which are these little bags that let me separate and organize stuff. They are helpful with mapping out how much space I have. Plus they fuel my need to be organized, think cover and align Ma’am. I have a new, very cool, filtered water bottle, from Life Straw and a head pillow that supports my chin and a tiny foam roller that are on my “must get packed list”.
Oh wait did I tell you guys I have big hair. Big, thick, curly hair. I have to almost use a gallon of conditioner when I wash it. It’s ridiculous. My regular routine involves drying, straight iron and all that other nonsense. It doesn’t seem practical to bring an industrial hair dryer and all the other various hair tools. I’m thinking a few hair bands, bobby pins and a good comb. I might pack a small bottle of conditioner. Decisions, decisions.
Ok, EVERYONE says take medication with you. Welp, I won’t lie, I’m not a big medication need-er or taker. However, I’m going to take some gut meds and some headache stuff along with band-aides and a tiny medical kit. I love KT tape too. It’s small and easy to pack and great for rolled ankles, knees, shoulders and little issues. The really cool thing is there are Ayurvedic practitioners who should be able to help me with easy issues too. More on the topic of Ayurveda.
What am I missing? I’m making a list and checking it twice. I had practice with this skill last month. (That’s a joke about Santa people.) I do have a list. I’m told shoes need to be easy on and off. We will be in and out of temples etc. What girl doesn’t love good shoes? Oh and don’t forget shower shoes too. Ear plugs, (I’m a country mouse who sleeps in silence, and will be adjusting to sleeping in cities), a power converter for my phone charger and an eye mask, for sleep, are on the must list.
How about a yoga mat? I am going to do yoga for goodness sake. I’m told we can buy them in Rishikesh. I would think the capitol of yoga would sell yoga mats right? But, I do have a collection of my own and what if I want to practice in the airport? I can practice without a mat right? (The answer is of course yes.)
You have now made it through another blog about the ramblings of my brain. Last night, I was laying in savasana, letting my mind wander. I visualized myself on the floor in busy airports, on the floor on the train and of course lying on the banks of the Ganga in my favorite savasana pose. Who cares what I’m wearing or if my hair is washed right, as long as my undies are clean and my teeth are brushed?
What are your favorite travel items. What do your recommend as must haves? Do you think I can become a minimalist traveler/packer I use to be?