For someone who loves organizing, I have a history of being a terrible packer. You know those amazing packers? They are the ones who arrive at their destination with cashmere sleeping masks, their own pillow, and a little muslin bag of their favorite teas. Let’s just say that hasn’t always been me.
Instead, I was the traveler who forgot my toothbrush in a place where no replacement could be found, and I’ve even forgotten my ski-pants on a ski-trip! I managed to do these things even as I remembered to pack pretty pens, a journal, and five books. On each of those trips, I’d count the days until I could return to my comforts or I’d waste time and money trying to replace these items with cheap substitutes.
After the ski-pant incident, I decided to take a little more time to pack. I realized that when I take time to pack my suitcase thoughtfully, I give my myself permission to enjoy my vacation.
Now my packing ritual starts with an Orla Kiely suitcase, which is light blue and makes me happy. I don’t want to fill that suitcase with just anything. I want to fill it with things that my vacation-self would like to have. We all have vacation-selves, don’t you think? My vacation-self likes to put a pretty journal on top of all my neatly folded, brightly colored clothes, so when I open my suitcase a vision of joy is waiting for me. My vacation-self also likes to bring along one really comfy outfit that I’ll wear just to lounge.
I try to envision what I’ll want to do when I’m traveling, and then I pack things that encourage that vision. If I start a few days before I have to leave, it saves me from the fear that I’ll leave something crucial out, and gives me time to edit so I don’t over-pack or forget a necessary staple– like socks (yep, I’ve done that too!)
I no longer have to suffer those complimentary airline headphones that barely function, because my ear-buds are in my purse. If I feel like reading my morning devotional, there’s a picture of the page on my phone for everyday of my trip. And if I decide to spend a day on the slopes, I have ski pants for that.
Wherever you are going this holiday season, pack with all your heart.