Central European Road Trip 2016 Part 2: Packing like a pro

If you are a just-in-case-packer like me, you will understand the difficulty in choosing what to pack for an iffy climate. Over and above that, I do have an intimate relationship with my clothes and miss them when I’m not surrounded by all my favourites.

After scouring the internet and finding a heap of ideas for backpackers, I realized that there are no suggestions really, for a fashion conscious, almost always stylish (we try), non-backpacking 40+ woman, who prefers to hide her slightly lumpy legs and jiggly upper arms and do not like T-shirts (that bra-muffin on the back is one of my least favourite looks).

Considering that the autumn (or spring) weather in Europe could be fickle, it was daunting to decide on what to pack and not look like a slob and scream “Hello, I’m a tourist!”

And so my own traveling wardrobe was born.

4x Bottoms
Jeans: this is always a staple and if you have a pair that you’ve broken in, they are super comfy when travelling.

Black Pants: I chose a pair of palazzo pants that fits snuggly in the waist. These I can either dress up or down.

Stone Pants: My only concession to not only pack black & white (my favourite combo) and the neutral colour will go with everything.

Black & White Pants: ‘Cause we all need a pair of skinnies in our favourite colour, when we see the world.

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10x Tops & Shirts
Now, if you like colour and patterns this is where you can go wild and unleash the multi-coloured demon. Me, on the other hand, prefer the classic black & white with a splash of grey and if I’m feeling terribly exited, I indulge in a dab of brown. Whatever your poison, make sure that all the tops can be worn with all the bottoms and that the whole shebang, work both on a sightseeing trip or spoiling yourself at a fancy eatery. These tops should be a combination of short and long sleeves as well as a sleeveless number for those extremely hot days – who knew Berlin can get to 36° C in September??

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1x Dress
This was a waste to pack and my old just-in-case self, made a guest appearance. I was thinking that I could wear this to dinner once or twice, but with the black pants already packed, this was a complete waste.

3x Jerseys
Yup. I am very often cold and would almost always prefer to glow than to shiver. Plus, I was taking the layering thing very serious.

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2x Cardigans
These are lighter weight than the jerseys above and were perfect to ward off the chill in the morning when I was standing like a working woman, on a street corner outside a hotel, having my coffee and fag.

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2x Jackets
The leather jacket I travelled in and was great towards the end of trip when it became quite fresh in the evenings and when it drizzled. The grey jacket was perfect as a lightweight extra layer for the in between weather.

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3x Pairs of Shoes
Can I please have applause for limiting myself? I stopped counting my footwear a few years ago (you know you have a serious addiction when they total over a hundred). To only choose 3 pairs took immense self-control.
I settled on a pair of white All Stars for traipsing around, a pair of red pumps for the dressier affairs and lastly, a pair of black ankle boots for the chillier days and for travelling.

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Accessories
4x Scarves that served both as an extra layer of warmth, as well as to jazz up an outfit.
2x Handbags – one that I travelled with (read ginormous), seeing that I forego the hand luggage and a daily cross body bag that could convert into a shoulder bag.
Uhuhm…both my own designs (perfect product placement!!)

All of the above gave me at least 25 different outfits – if I did some laundry in between – that was comfortable, stylish and age/agenda appropriate. More than enough for a 3 week holiday.

All in all, everything worked out perfect, even more so when I started to shop. Seeing that my wardrobe was very much mix-n-match already, everything that I bought, looked pretty spiffy with what I had already!

I left with a suitcase weighing a mere 14kg and came back with only 10kg extra. A definite first for me!

TIPS
• Pack for a week, regardless whether you’re travelling for a month or a year. If you really need a warm coat or a pair of slinky summery heels, you have the excuse to shop!
• Layering is key to autumn/spring traveling wardrobe.
• Make sure that each piece of clothing can be worn with everything else.
• You must feel comfortable in everything. Don’t pack skirts if you mostly wear pants when you’re home.
• For us normal people: do not pack active wear – you’ll get enough exercise by walking everywhere…my lycra tights, top and tekkies came back home, without ever leaving the suitcase.

Love & Light
xx

Central European Road Trip 2016 Part 1: Yes. I can be a princess.

Long before I even smelled jet-fuel, I was as excited as a kid before Xmas about this epic road trip and researched the hell out of it. And thank you very much for acknowledging my anal retentiveness. I am proud about that not-very-endearing quality of my personality – it sometimes does come in handy.

The Husband and I were visiting ten cities in three weeks and there was no time to dilly-dally, if we wanted to see and visit all the places that was worthwhile. I ended up compiling my own travel guide, tailor made for our taste and interest….which you would realize if you know me, rotate around food, booze and shoes. For every day that we spent in a specific location, I planned a sightsee and shopping map within walking distance from where we stayed. All neatly printed out on Google maps, indicating the distance as well (never more than 7km) so that The Husband can be emotionally prepared and won’t faint before we tie our laces. He is a trooper indeed and has stopped trying to convince me to take public transport.

Apart from our own personal travel guide, I also applied my OCD-ness to my travel wardrobe and am extremely proud of what I’d packed. For a notorious over-packer it was medal time when my suitcase weighed in at a mere 14kg when we locked the front door. But more about that in another post.

The only bleak spot on the travel horizon, was the looooong flight ahead and even for someone who loves flying and wishes she was an airhostess in the 50’s on Pan Am, this was definitely not the highlight of the trip. So I did what I do extremely well and started shopping online to make the trip more bearable.

Say hello Flight Hammock! This is a nifty gadget that makes the most of the space available for your legs in cattle class. You hook it over the tray in front of you and you instantly have a leg up. Got to love those Aussies!20161024-img_4962

Sadly (NOT), I never did get to try out this leg hammock because, darling dearest Husband, got us business class tickets. And yes it was a spoil and yes I didn’t want to know how much it cost (all shoe-shopping related you understand and that will just be devastating) but jislaaikit, it was damn amazing to travel in style!! They do make you feel special and I loved the toiletries, and the champagne and the cutlery and to actually lie flat and sleep was a nice change from drooling on the window.

Still, it is so sad that you have to fork out a shit load of money to experience what flying use to be like. Glamorous and exciting should not cost that much.

Would I jump at the chance again while I’m perfecting to be an ostrich?

Hell yes! To be a princess for 11 hours is always a good thing and what a way to start a holiday!

Love & Light
xx

This is not my first rodeo

About 7 years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity, to live in Paris for 5 weeks. This was while the soccer world cup was happening in South Africa. I then started a blog, more to share the trails and tribulations with family and friends back home, than to share with the world my daily life.

The seed was planted though and I’ve realized that it is a pretty damn fine platform to keep track of my life and revisit the amazing places and experiences that I have enjoyed and endured.

If you feel like a giggle, visit www.boertjieinparis.blog.com and read about The Husband and I’s time in the city of light.

Love & Light
xx