I don't know how to travel light. I like the idea, but it never works for me.
A friend and I shared a hotel room in Boulder the other night. Knowing Kelly is a master of efficiency in all things, especially packing, I didn't' want to show up for an 18 hour stay with my large duffel bag. Instead I chose a 'grown-up' wheelie suitcase and regretted every single moment.
Kelly flew in and appeared with one bag, roughly the same size as my purse. I was driving and had my bag and two more pair of shoes that didn't fit in the bag--doesn't everyone need 5 shoe options (including three pair of boots) for a maximum of two outfit changes? Of course the weather was warmer than I anticipated, so I had to stop at a store on the way and grab a pair of lightweight leggings.
When I walked into the room, I now had a shopping bag, suitcase and two pair of shoes, in addition to my purse and computer bag. So much for efficiency.
And somehow, clothes doubled in space requirements during my brief sojourn. Luckily Kelly departed before me, so I wasn't feeling pressured to appear organized. Which was a good thing because it wasn't going to happen.
When I left the room, in addition to my bag (the new leggings fit inside), purse, computer bag and extra shoes, I was carrying a coat, unused running shoes and my toiletry kit because they no longer fit in the suitcase.
The house rule during my formative years was, if you can carry it, you can take it. While I admire those who effortlessly fit all they need in a half full, easy-to-carry bag, I've decided to stick with my childhood guideline. Sure, I'll be drenched in sweat by the time I get anywhere, but will have plenty of other clothing options! So I'm switching back to my forgiving duffel bag, and giving up on the idea of traveling light, at least until I'm too old to heft my stuff.
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