Repacking the Suitcase

I went home at the start of July for a bomb wedding and had the opportunity to evaluate the possessions that will stay with me for the rest of my Remote Year journey – unless of course I lose it, break it, or share it.

What I Have Not Used So Far:

  • Sweater
  • Jackets
  • Cold weather clothing of any kind
  • Wedge heels (only wore twice)

What I Rely On:

  • Black maxi dress
  • All of my other shoes
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Patterned tops

My theory in packing was to rely on neutral colors and styles for tops and bottoms.  This, as a theory, makes sense.  I’m wearing the same clothes every other week, so no need to stand out.  However, in practice this does not make me feel cute, attractive, stylish, or fun.  So I’ve swapped my gray, black, and white tops for things with a bit more flair to make me feel GOOD about what I’m wearing.  Because that’s what dressing is all about – to make you feel like a rockstar.

Plus, everyone on this trip is wearing the same clothes over and over.  It’s a non-judgemental group here with Remote Year Magellan, so there is absolutely no reason to be self-conscious about wearing my Oh My God Becky tank top every two weeks.

So, I went through every item in my suitcase (clothes, electronics, tchotchkes) and made hard and fast decisions while holding them a la “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (a great read by the way, if you’re into that sort of thing).  Other items I ditched included my iPad which I never used, the wedge heels, and my hair dryer, curling iron, and straightener.  For those last three, I realized I was wearing my hair wavy every day which is (1) easy, (2) quick, and (3) comfortable — it’s dang hot in a lot of the places I’m going and blasting my face with heat is about the last thing I want to do.  And I reasoned that if I were to ever want to do my hair differently, I have friends who share.

 
Side note: I’ve used both my spork AND my headlamp in Portugal. I’ll call that a win.

 

Pile of items left behind. Why did I think I would use a resistance band?!

 

 

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A Cinderella Traveler: Finding the Right Shoe

For the love of God, if I get back to the states and see another otherwise respectably dressed woman walk the streets of New York City wearing a fancy dress and bright white running sneakers, I may have to smack her.  There IS such a thing as comfortable flats people!

Proof #1: the fashionable women of Valencia

Proof #2: my current shoe wardrobe

The corporate version of Casey back in the states wears high heeled pumps, leopard print flats, gold glittery sandals, over the knee boots, green suede ballet flats, and more heels. Too snazzy for work, you say?  Never! is my reply.   (I am HR.  I make the rules.)  (Kidding.) (Not kidding.)

The version of Casey who lives out of a suitcase — the version of myself during Remote Year —  and the version I’m quite enjoying — has no such options.  One checked bag, weight limit 50 pounds.  One backpack, weight limit whatever I can physically lift and wear for hours at a time.  (Side note: I’m a baller in that backpack.)

A few things before we proceed.  I understand that some many men need no such variety in shoes, as many of my male colleagues have 2 pairs of shoes and that’s it.  I also understand that some women also have no such need for 7 pairs of shoes. But I do.  I’ve worn every pair so far and each has proven multi-purpose and comfortable.  I’ve prioritized footwear over packing other items because I’m on my feet all day and usually all night (hello parties til 5am.)   (Pro tip: Band Aid Blister Block.  Changed my life.)

 

Shoe #1: Running Sneaks.  I toyed with the idea of trail running shoes that could double for hiking, but decided as I work out several days a week and may only hike a handful of times on this trip, and so my Nikes would do the job. And they are.

Shoe #2: Black Toms.  My comfy casual walk-all-over-the-city shoes.

Shoe #3: Brown Sperrys. Comfy walk-all-over-the-city shoes that I think I can wear with a dress. Maybe. I’ll see if I can pull it off.

Shoe #4: Black Gladiator Sandals.  Admittedly these won’t last more than another month or two (a year old already) but I don’t mind replacing them. You can’t expect a girl to go a whole year without buying shoes, can you?

Shoe #5: Gold Sandals.  Dressier, match everything, leather and comfortable.

Shoe #6: Beach Flip Flops.  Not good for long periods of time but I can yuck em up pretty good at the beach or the hot springs or if I encounter a questionable shower situation.

Shoe #7: Nude Wedge Heel.  This was the challenge for me.  To bring a heel or not to bring a heel? Bring 2 heels?  I landed on a nude wedge with a 3 inch heel that I wore once and probably not again. These might go home.  No one is more shocked about this than me, but I need to be practical.  I wore the heels at a fancy welcome event where I could have easily worn my gold flat sandals.  I’ll probably pick up a strappy pair in South America for salsa dancing but til then, sayonara