Packing, for me, is a study in forced minimalism with goals of specific function. We’re hitting three different cities on our trip. We fly to some places. We take trains to others. Overpacking is just not an option. I’m addicted to gridded moleskines, wooden pencils, design books, film and cameras.
Everything stowed in my bags must present some irresistible need, function, or confluence of both.
When I travel, clothes are actually the least of my concerns. A wool coat, black pants, boots and some shirts and I’m ready to pound asphalt. Cameras, and associated gear, represent a different problem. I’m always too painfully conscious of my need to bring just enough photographic options, while still not weighing myself down.
For the flight I always travel with at least two Wes Anderson movies. I’m bringing The Darjeeling Limited (I’ve resigned to forgive the “baggage” symbolism at the end), The Royal Tenenbaums, and my favorite Rushmore. I also have the Steve Jobs Biography, a few books from A Book Apart, as well as classics like Brave New World and 1984.
I’m only taking three cameras. I’ve traveled with as many as 6 before and found that not all of them were ever used. They just added dead weight and made me feel even worse for not using them. So to balance form and function I’ve decided to take a Mamiya C330 (medium format 6×6 TLR), a Contax T2 (point and shoot 35mm with ultra sharp lens), and my Canon 5D (full frame digital camera).
I figured by hitting three different formats, with three different form factors, I’d be giving myself enough options. The only cumbersome camera is the Mamiya but its image quality is so gorgeous I couldn’t resist. The only negative feeling I get is not bringing some sort of Polaroid/Instant option.
I look forward to sitting along the Seine with a bottle of wine, an Rdio playlist pumping out of a tinny speaker, and not having a care in the world. - what else could a boy ask for?
With only a couple of days left until our trip, I’m battling a lifelong battle: packing light yet appropriately for cold weather. You see, unlike my better half, I am truly tropical. Being born and raised in Miami, I am not versed in the art of layering so it takes some time for my outfits to come together. Half of the time, I end up walking around in new cities freezing my little tail feather off for the sake of a cute ensemble, but this vacation is different.
For starters, I have decided to feature each of my daily outfits on my personal blog when I return. After all, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to stage outfit posts with such beautiful backdrops as Barcelona, London and Paris – plus, I thought if I shared what pieces I decided to bring, it might help others with similar packing disabilities.
So how am I attempting to pack light yet warm and fashionable? Accessories!
There is such power in pop pieces, and I am doing exactly that. Some of my favorites that will add pizazz are featured above: sweet (and comfy) flat boots, fun animal-themed rings, bold nail decals, brightly colored slouchy hats, a pastel satchel and a leopard print scarf. All that plus my ever-growing collection of bright and fun tights, which are not pictured, are sure to keep me toasty without sacrificing my personal style.
Aside from fashion are some other vital travel companions: my Kindle loaded up with the Game of Thrones series (currently on book 2), Veronica Roth’s Divergent and the ever present Hunger Games trilogy (just in case I’m up for a re-read – you know I will be), along with my newly purchased gluten enzymes. Being someone that suffers from gluten intolerance, these pills are vital to my survival when I know I will be surrounded by delicious (and toxic) food. I just pop a few of those bad boys before a meal containing gluten and I am golden. Sure, I’m still putting poison in my body, but they allow me to cheat when the going gets tough. No need to scour all of Europe for gluten free establishments or learn how to say “I cannot eat gluten” in French (Je ne peux pas manger de gluten in case you are wondering).
Win win, my friends. Win win.