Recently I traveled to Italy, taking only a backpack. I have since come home and realize that I have a greater appreciation for America and all of our benefits in this country and also the little things that make my house a home. Don’t get me wrong, I had a marvelous time and found the people in Italy to be warm and generous. I am just happy to be home.
The backpack that I took was wonderful. I kept the weight of the pack to about 20 pounds knowing that I would be walking with it for up to 30 minute stretches traveling to 5 different cities.
I flew into Venice airport, walked 15 minutes to a water taxi and got dropped off at the top of the island. That was the last taxi I took until the morning I left for the airport 17 days later! There are no cars in Venice. There are a lot of small narrow alleys that they call streets. It took 20 minutes of walking (after only 2 hours of sleep) to find my small hotel. It felt great to put the pack down. I must have walked 10 miles that first day, without the pack, trying to stay awake. It was painful, but helped me quickly get on Italian time, which was 8 hours ahead of mine.
I thought when I packed, that I had covered all the bases. If you asked me when I left if I packed the most necessary but minimum things, I would have given an emphatic “yes”. I learned some things though. Basically, I got by with less clothes than I brought but also craved other things like hair conditioner, my flatiron and perfume.
I found that I used my black capri pants each night with basic solid colored sleeveless tops. The restaurants are hot! I also wore a black sweater jacket walking to and from dinner. I dressed up my dinner look with colorful silk scarves (I don't wear them here in the states but loved them over there.) I brought 2 solid color dresses and 2 black skirts that I hardly wore. I wished that I had brought black short boots. Some dinners were a 30 minute walk and it rained a lot over there. I used black sneakers but would have felt more dressed up and fit in better with black boots.
I was happy with my day outfits which were walking shoes, capri pants with pockets and a tee shirt with a long sleeved pullover. I felt best with muted colors and didn't use my bright colors very often. My small over the shoulder purse was priceless as was my raincoat!
Since I have come home, I realized that I should have been easier on myself. Bringing less clothes and shoes made me feel denied and punished. I went too far “staying minimal” and for the next trip will bring some more “stuff” that makes me feel more at home no matter where I am!