I'm Officially Panicking About Packing

I am running away from home and I don't want to take a big suitcase.
Publish date:
November 8, 2014
travel, weekend, packing

As you may know because I've mentioned it once or twice, I'm leaving Orlando on the 11th (Tuesday) to head off on my #AmtrakResidency adventure. I won't be back in the MCO until the 22nd or the 23rd -- a trip that will last approximately 13 days.

That sounds so good on paper and if I were going to be at a resort or just in a hotel, I wouldn't be worried. I know how to pack for a long trip from when I spent summers with my dad. I'd just expand my suitcase (and I swear by the Brookstone Dash because it's sturdy and easy to wheel around and also I was able to buy mine in light pink) and go.

But the challenge here is that I'll be in a bunch of different places -- on a train and then on another train, yeah, but also spending a couple of nights in a couple of cities here and there. I need to be easily mobile.

(Note: If anyone wants to meet up at the Seattle Fluevog store, let's talk! Because that is the only thing I've actually planned in advance.)

And the thing about this trip is that it's all -- and here's the philosophical part that I had to talk about in therapy recently -- about being unencumbered. This is very much a chance to step outside of everything for a little while in a way that even a regular vacation doesn't.

I know you know how much that means; I wish we could all have that opportunity because so many of us are running that ragged edge of burn out. There's so much and it never stops. That's not a complaint -- I think a lot of us are just in really hard places and acknowledging that is OK.

So I'm trying to decide if I can pack everything I need into a backpack. I mean, teenagers do this through Europe all the time, right? I've never been that teenager but maybe I could be that 37-year-old woman?

Right now I'm trying to be spontaneous by not planning a lot of things ahead. This is going against everything in my anxiety-driven nature -- but that's also why I'm on meds. (There's no way I'd be ready to survive this trip without meds.) A wheelie suitcase doesn't scream spontaneous to me and I just have this terrible image of trying to navigate the streets of Los Angeles with my suitcase trailing behind me.

The odds of that actually happening are pretty low. But reality is not the point, y'all. The point is that -- and I am still exploring this idea -- this is running away from home for a little while.

So, a backpack.

But that presents technical difficulties: what do I put in the backpack?

Underwear, obviously. I mean, really, it isn't like I need you to answer that part.

Here's what I'm thinking though:

  • Leggings (cropped and full length)
  • A comfy knit dress
  • Long-sleeve layering t-shirts
  • Flats for on the train
  • Dr. Martens for when I need real shoes
  • A jacket for the colder places

The jacket might not fit in the backpack. But I don't want to freeze to death and you know I'm a delicate tropical flower. That's also why I'm thinking I should cram some stuff in there for layering.

I've learned over the years to turn to you all, xoReaders. Crowdsourcing is always the way to go -- your experiences are so valuable and when you share them, it's so much more powerful than any one writer writing. Also, you've probably traveled with a handful of stuff a lot more extensively than I have. I'd be foolish not to ask for your advice.

Please advise me! Is this the most ridiculous idea ever? Should I resign myself to packing up my suitcase and lugging it along? Can I manage with finding a laundromat in Seattle and washing my stuff halfway through the trip?