Okay, maybe not although I must admit, I did get better at packing “lightly” over time.

(If you struggle with packing lightly but plan on traveling I urge you to not only ask “Will I use/wear this?” but also “Would I want to carry this strapped to my back in a ruckstack?” or “Would I be willing to drag two 60 pound suitcases and a rucksack from the international arrivals gate through passport control, customs, and to the domestic ticketing counter?”)

Anyway…on this days, one year ago (September 11…even though I’m typing this on 9/14 and pretending like I posted it on 9/11)…I was finishing packing for England. In fact, I think there might be an actual post on it on this blog.

I was only able to take two suitcases (50 pounds each for $70…which I just checked…it’s not $100!) so I used my go-to small green one to pack non-clothes items¬† and a large obnoxious polka-dot suitcase for all of my clothes.

In order to get more things to fit into my clothes suitcase I bought two boxes of space bags. That’s a lot of space bags, if you were wondering. Of the bags I can remember…

  • Blouses and t-shirts and dresses (didn’t get much opportunity to wear dresses…)
  • Cardigans and jumpers. Yes. A whole space bag dedicated to cardis. I basically took every single one I owned.
  • swimsuit (what was I thinking?!) and scarves (yes…and entire bag dedicated to scarves. I left with about 10 pashminas and literally came home with over two dozen. I love scarves!)
  • Pea Coat, Columbia, Rain Jacket…I actually ended up wearing my tan trench coat on the plane to save space in my suitcase
  • Sheets and towels (provided at Uni but I couldn’t bear the thought of not sleeping on my own sheets)
  • Socks etc., all rolled into little sausages. My mom would have been so proud!

And then the other suitcase. I thought it would be a good idea to just buy everything I was going to need (shampoo and the like) BEFORE I got to England….to save money (I buy in bulk and had much of it at home already) and to save time when I got there. As an added bonus, I would probably use most of it while I was there and thus would free up room in my suitcase coming home because it would be devoid of so many of the bottles I took there.

Kind of true. Kind of false. When faced with the actual decision of “should I throw this half-used bottle of very expensive shampoo away?” I erred on the side of keeping it. I had paid for it after all. So in the end, I ended up bringing home a lot of the stuff I took there thinking I was going to get rid of it. What a failure. (There were some things I had to buy there though like laundry detergent and flatware).

The results of my efforts?

Suitcase No. 1

Suitcase No. 2