Last month I was able to visit my country of birth, Guatemala, for a weekend. My family and I made the trip over to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday! Boy what a day it was, what a family reunion, what a whirlwind of a trip, and what a challenge it was to pack for only two days!
If you’re over 5’10 you’ll know that it is a truth universally unknown that carry on suitcases don’t actually provide us with that enough space for our clothes. Our stuff just takes up more space because there is more fabric involved when you’re trying to cover tall people! It just is this way. So when I looked down at my traditionally sized carry-on suitcase I had a minor panic attack, ok that might be exaggerating. Let’s say I had a passing moment of anxiety quickly followed by the relish of facing a new challenge. I had never before travelled internationally with only a carry on by my side, and I was going to succeed at it this time.
You see, my extended family doesn’t always operate at a compassionate and realistic function. So I knew I had to pack for an 80th birthday. But an 80th dinner party? Or would it be a luncheon? A brunch? Would it be multiple events that needed outfit changes? Would there be an opera involved and would I be swept away by the Angel of Music, my guide and guardian, while we sang a beautiful aria in perfect harmony?
I hadn’t a clue.
These were the facts:
- That which faced me was unknown.
- That which I must pack was unknown.
- The space I had. Minimal.
- The color I would wear: black.
Here is where the glory that is mixing and matching comes in. Oh, and rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Believe it or not this method works even with tall people clothes. So I rolled two t-shirts up, one skirt and top for the event, and two shoes. With my suitcase made, and my taste buds ready for homeland cooking, I set off to el pais de la primavera eterna.
Here are the two outfits made with the pieces I mixed and matched for the three days I was there.
This is what I wore on my first day, and basically on my last day as well (just with a different tee).
As you can tell I couldn’t get enough of this outfit.
My poor sister had to take multiple shots of my look. Thank you, Kiki!
In the end, with a bit of self-control, I managed to not over pack! I don’t know what your suitcases look like, but I like to arrange mine by outfits and pieces I can combine easily. I tend to pack items of clothing I am really liking at the moment, that will be functional in whatever geographical location I’m visiting. Now we can check off “can travel with just a carry on” off my list of goals.