Trying to Pack Lightly

I’m leaving Chicago to study in Florence for one month in about three days and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve finished my laundry, cleaned my apartment, and taken care of my mail. I started packing, which is a real feat because I usually pack the night before a trip and always end up bringing too much. I am determined to be able to carry my suitcase instead of rolling it down the cobblestone streets of Florence. There are two reasons for this particular goal, the first is I’ve been lifting weights for quite a while now, ever since my parents laughed at me last August when I couldn’t load my own suitcase into the car for my move to Chicago. The second reason is that I am notorious for overpacking. Let me give you some examples:

Cabo San Lucas family vacation 2003: Before the era of paying for baggage, I brought two suitcases for a 10 day trip. One was for shoes only.

Austria and Italy with my high school choir 2006: One suitcase, a wheeled carry-on, a back pack, and a purse. The suitcase weighed 70 pounds.

Mediterranean Cruise 2008: I took a suitcase that was 49.5 pounds and two carry-ons. If you didn’t know what the limit was before now, it’s 50 pounds and then you pay a fee.

I tend to bring everything in my closet. I have become much better at traveling light since 2008, after our bags were lost for 8 days of our 12 day cruise. I realized I really could wear something more than once, and that fashion doesn’t come up when you’re having the experience of a lifetime. As long as you are comfortable, you don’t even notice that you’ve been wearing the same pants for three days.

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