On June 27th, my husband and I took off for Europe. We will be visiting three or four countries over a four-week period. I’m calculating we will have to pack/unpack about six times in four weeks. That’s less than a week in any one place.
My ideal vacation is to spend the entire time in one place. My husband’s preference? Pack as many stops into a vacation as humanly possible. We’re at an impasse here already.
This month-long trip began as a one-week cruise in the western Mediterranean. As Doc researched flights to & from Europe, the itinerary expanded. OK, we are using airline miles so that does require some flexibility in scheduling. Every day brought a new “issue”. “You know,” Doc said, “as long as we are flying all that way, we should visit Peter in London.” “OK,” I said, “It would be nice to visit Peter.”
A week later, Doc tells me our friend in Ghent is visiting Madrid for Gay Pride. “Wouldn’t it be great to go to Gay Pride in Madrid with Ronny & Hernan?” “Yeah, that would be nice,” I say. I add, “I don’t want to spend the entire summer away from Palm Springs.”
A week later, Doc informs me that, “Ronny & Hernan are going to Sitges after Gay Pride. I told them we’d go with them.” “WHAT??!?”
Our trip is expanding rapidly.
I put my foot down when the trip expanded to 7 weeks. “You can stay in Europe for the entire summer. Just book my flight back to Palm Springs before the end of July! I’d rather leave Palm Springs when it’s cold!”
So now I’m packing for a month in Europe with six pack/unpacks. I’m taking one medium sized suitcase and trying to cover all contingencies. We’re going to nude beaches. We’re dining at an upper crust club in London. We’re going to Gay Pride in Madrid. We’re going on a week-long cruise with 2,500 other gay men. How does one possibly pack for all this in a smallish suitcase?
I packed my suitcase. I had to use that handy expansion zipper to get the suitcase closed. That did not bode well. It meant I could not possibly purchase one souvenir in Europe without adding a second suitcase. Not good.
I took out all those items I’d packed. I counted the t-shirts – 15. I pulled 8 of them & returned them to the dresser. Next were shorts – 6 pair. I returned 3 to the dresser. Did I really need 8 tank tops? Six are staying home. Same with socks: I don’t need 12 pair. Four should do it. My suitcase is remarkably thin! I took out 6 of the 12 collared shirts. They DO have laundry service in hotels and aboard ship, no?
One pair of casual shoes will have to do along with only one swimsuit and one pair of sandals. I don’t know these guys on the cruise. Why do I really care if anyone sees me in the same lousy swimsuit or shorts day after day? I’m going for a good time, not to impress anyone with my fabulous wardrobe.
My suitcase is now down to BELOW 50 pounds with room to spare for any souvenirs I just cannot live without!
Doc was complaining about his suitcase being too small. “Since yours is so empty, can you carry my three pair of dress shoes?”