just because: 10 days, 2 climates, 1 (small) bag

I generally pride myself on my packing abilities: I have the unique and useful knack of being able to stuff an exorbitant amount of clothes into even the smallest of luggages.

This wasn’t always the case. Not too long ago I was known for exactly the opposite; I was an over-packer to the extreme. I had even managed to meet one of my closest friends due to the sheer amount of luggage I possessed: while waiting to check into my Semester at Sea flight to Vancouver, Erin’s parents saw my bags and knew instantly we would be friends.

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They were right and Erin and I still travel together to this day. However, the one thing that has changed is the amount of stuff I bring. Ever since the Philippines and my flight restriction to a 10 kilo (22.5 lbs) bag, I’ve have relished in the necessity to pare what I bring down to the essentials. Aside from being easier to schlep from one destination to the next, having few options for what to wear, gives me more time to actually appreciate the place I’m in rather than focus on what to wear.

When I travel today, I try my hardest to fit all my needs into a carry on bag. There are, of course, exceptions. This past weekend I flew to Colorado, ski boots and equipment in tow. The size of these necessities alone required I check a bag for everything else.

My upcoming trip to Ecuador poses another challenge I am still assaying how to overcome. My week spent in Quito will be cool and rainy. Similar to last year’s spring break in Peru, Quito will require I bring a jackets, sweaters, a pair of Toms and boots. Hiking out in the Otavalo countryside will additionally require bulky sneakers and some active gear. A weekend surf camp in sleepy seaside haven Montanita will see me in temperatures rising above 90° and in turn, behoove an entirely alternate wardrobe. All this not to mention the backpack, day purse, night bag and beach totes I want to bring for my various excursions. The variety of clothes I think I’ll need to bring on this trip, far exceeds the limits of what has become my go to carry on bag.

the contents of my carry on

the contents of my carry on

My challenge? To squeeze it all in with room for a few new purchases to add to my growing travel collection. Wish me luck… I’m going to need it…

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