Well, it’s official: I am a college graduate. Like many recent grads, I decided to spend my first month as a serious adult traveling, gypsy style. On the surface, blowing all of your graduation money on summer fun may seem a bit irresponsible (and it is), but I must say that in a month, I learned many life lessens that it would have otherwise taken much, much longer to learn. I also may be completely wrong and should begin to write fake statistics on the issue, In Her Shoes fashion. For instance, when traveling to San Francisco, I never before knew that there was a place called the tenderloin district, which may sound like a delicious little area to be in, but where you, under no circumstances, want to stay. That is, unless you enjoy homeless people screaming outside of your window all night, the smell of crack being smoked, prostitutes earning their wages, and multiple fire alarms being set off in the middle of the night. I made this and many other mistakes on my travels, but one thing that I can say for sure is that I don’t regret and wouldn’t change a thing (I am lying, there are definitely some things that I would change and in the upcoming weeks I will tell you all about them). But let me go ahead and start from the beginning with the dreaded packing.
Packing for this trip was excruciating, but I did learn a few things along the way.
1. You can never, I repeat never, have to many J Crew button-up cardigans. Most places in the world are clearly much cooler than Florida and in May weather can be quite unpredictable. Also, whether you are wearing a skin-tight boldly colored maxi-dress or shorts that show everything that your momma gave, a cardigan thrown on can help you blend in places that you wouldn’t want everyone to be staring at you. In conclusion, if you just graduated college like me, J Crew just seems appropriate.
2. Lululemon is a lifesaver. By the end of my trip, all of my sweatpants other than those by the Lemon looked absolutely terrible. These indestructibles made me wish i had more than only one pair, not that I even needed more. The defy logic.
3. Shoes are a waste of space. When you are living out of a single suitcase for a month, bringing your favorite silver pumps because they make one outfit look fierce is much too frivolous. When going out in locations that I had never been before, my main goal always lead to comfort (since I knew no one anyways) and the four pairs of heels that I brought virtually went unworn the entire trip. They also weigh a ton.
4. Black skinny jeans are everything. All three of the pairs that I brought were useful in many ways. My first were my old AllSaints ones, faded and ready for a rugged-good time. The second were my nice and new AllSaints, ready for an afternoon of shopping or a fancy dinner, and the last were a cheap pair by a brand called Just USA, which were solid backups. They all were useful and needed, because I just brought tops that go with black jeans.
5. Plan to buy. Doesn’t matter if your budget is piggy-bank size, odds are you will be shopping. My shopping consisted of finding the best thrift stores in every area that I went and, wow, did I find some great items. I eventually did have to purchase a new carry-on in Chinatown that would fit in all my new pieces, which I also adore, so try to have a enough room for a few cool items unique to where you go.
6. Expect the unexpected and realize you probably will have to purchase items, even if you don’t want to. Weather changes quick and unpredictably in areas unknown.
All in all, you will always be missing something, so just let go, have fun, and pack whatever makes you happy.