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minimalism

packing in one bag for a mixed transit trip

Posted in Travel by

Last weekend, Evan and I headed out on a quick two-night trip to the northeast. We were flying in to Newark, Lyfting to Jersey City, using the PATH train to head into NYC, then taking a bus from New York City to Boston the next day, and flying home from Logan. (I’m exhausted just recounting all that!) Originally, I was packing into my small (but roomy) packable tote, but since I knew we’d be walking around a lot and trekking through Boston on foot, I wanted something easier to manage, since my tote doesn’t have a shoulder strap or anything.

We bought a packable backpack last summer that we’ve gotten a lot of use from, so I decided to pick up one of my own without spending a ton of money on it. VenturePal’s Large Hiking backpack fit the bill at just under $13. Initially I thought I’d just throw it into my tote and deal with switching things over once we got to Jersey, but I ended up doing the opposite – packing into the backpack and throwing the packed tote in, just in case. The forecast for the weekend was shifty – rain expected, of course – so I packed in a way that I thought would be optimistic, just in case things were sunny instead.

On the plane, I wore jeans, a t-shirt, and a lightweight C9 track jacket. I really wanted to wear my favorite Crocs sandals, but since the weather forecast showed rain, I stuck with my trusty Sperrys.

What I Packed

Clothes

  • Two pairs of socks (I packed these “just in case,” and didn’t use them since it didn’t rain)
  • Four pairs underwear (extra underwear is something I’m always going to tote.)
  • Two sports bras
  • One pair sleep shorts (I wouldn’t have brought sleep stuff, but we stayed with a friend in Boston and I think everyone appreciated that I wore clothes to bed)
  • One sleep tank top
  • One pair Uniqlo drape pants
  • One pair Uniqlo Relaco shorts
  • One t-shirt
  • One Uniqlo sleeveless tank
  • One black popover shirt

Toiletries

  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Single face wipes to remove makeup (I didn’t use these. The first night in the hotel I used a washcloth and the second night I passed out with makeup on. Whoops.)
  • Body wipes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Meds for both of us
  • A couple random ziploc bags
  • Two lipsticks
  • Mascara
  • Foundation
  • Sponge
  • Contour
  • Welly first aid kit (I’m a sucker for branding and Welly is great at it, but I don’t recommend the band-aids. I used a fabric one while we were on the trip and it started fraying within an hour.)

Comfort and Entertainment

What Did We Buy There?

  • Dramamine (I had some at home but didn’t pack it. I would probably have been fine, but wanted to ensure a nap on the bus, so I grabbed some from Target on the way)
  • Evan forgot hair stuff, so he picked up a small hair pomade thingy

The organization of the bag was perfect – I don’t like a lot of pockets, and this one only has three, including the main space. Even though 50 liters is more space than I really need, I was glad for it because I could easily throw in the few purchases I made on the trip (another set of Uniqlo drape pants and Relaco shorts, and two shirts from the shows.)

I will say that this bag doesn’t look super touristy so if security is one of your concerns, I think this bag would fit the bill quite well. It would also be a fine daypack, too, if you wanted to offload some things where you were staying and set out for the day. It’s definitely durable, but not waterproof, and it probably wouldn’t be my primary bag choice for a week+ trip. But for a weekend where I specifically wanted to feel well-organized and mobile, it was really great, and I’m so glad I’m learning how to pack less!

Are you a minimalist traveler, or a “just in case” packer? What must-haves do you always pack?

May 20, 2019
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Simplify.

Posted in Living by

DeathtoStock_Simplify3In changing jobs, my income took a big hit, so I’m working very hard to minimize spending and simplify my life. It’s really not easy for me even though I long to be a minimalist. In order to do this, I’m doing a couple different things.

Goodwill: Instead of listening to my gut when I moved and having that slightly longer commute in order to have a roommate, I moved in to a place on my own. It’s not fully furnished yet – I have a bed and couch and TV and a desk that I lugged over from Charlottesville, but I only have one (very dim) bedside lamp. There’s no microwave in my apartment. I’m trying to make do without some of these things in the hope of moving sooner rather than later, but for the times I get really frustrated with having to warm everything up on the stove or dressing by the light of a pink nightlight, I’ll be checking out Goodwill’s half-off Saturdays hoping for some scores. Ditto for new-to-me clothes.

Plato’s Closet, Poshmark, consignment stores: I purged a lot of stuff before I came to Nashville, but there are still things hanging in my closet that I never wear. Moreso now that I have a casual job where I wear jeans everday. I’m not going to fully purge my businesswear, but the things that I only wore as last resorts when I was too lazy to do laundry are definitely going. I’ve also found myself increasingly bored of a lot of my name-brand purses, so I’ve listed those on Poshmark and I’ll take them around to the consignment shops as I have time.

Cooking: It’s not that I was always really big on eating out, I typically only go out with someone else. But I am a lazy cooker, and it’s even worse sans microwave. I have a pantry full of food that just needs to be used up before it goes bad (or worse, before I have to drag it with me in another move.)

Working Out: I’m attempting to cancel the gym membership I signed up for when I moved for a variety of reasons (including harassment from an employee I encountered a few weeks ago and I haven’t been back since.) They’re trying to make me pay $97 to cancel, but I’m pushing back and hoping to get that down. Either way, instead of being a gym member, I’m going to try to utilize my complex’s “exercise room” (one treadmill and a weight machine) in the meantime.

Work as Entertainment: If I thought I was on a budget before, I had no idea. Now instead of going out, I work nights at a venue where I get to see shows. When I am home, I try to pick up as many design clients as I can (need graphics or a VA? Holla!) and sit on my couch while I work through orders.

When all of this happened at the beginning of last month, NP tried to really assure me that money isn’t everything. Now I have a job I love, and she’s right. Being happy is making it much easier to cope with the money situation, and I have friends that are pretty supportive as well and understand now when I don’t want to go out partying or suggest Netflix nights instead of movie dates. It’s nice to know that people will really be there for you if you just allow them to be.

How have you simplified your life?

October 2, 2014
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