Monday, April 14, 2014

Packing Light, Sort Of

My dream is to travel with nothing except what I can fit in my pockets and layer onto my back.  In reality I generally do manage to keep it to two carry on bags.  But those two bags often become shoulder separators when I'm racing through an airport carrying them cross-body and slung by straps. 

This trip to Barcelona involves some tricky packing.  For one thing, it's spring, and I know that today's warm weather can snap into chilly windy and drenching rain in a flash.  So layers are important as well as a few sweaters and socks.  Most difficult for light packing is the need to bring along supplies for teaching a workshop as well as books to exhibit and possibly sell, and a wallet for someone who ordered it, plus a couple of extras.  I am hoping this bag will be empty when I pack to go home, and I can fill it with things I've acquired while there!
 My process was to lay out everything I would have liked to be able to bring and draw these things on the same page as the bag they would have to fit in.  The top page here is the contents of a medium-sized heavy duty but very light market bag that F made.  I chose it for the books and art-related things because it's less floppy than the messenger bag and offers better protection for fragile objects. 

In the process of drawing, I curated out about a third of the duplicates, thus reducing the weight considerably.  Drawing made me think several times about whether I needed clothing choices or easy travel.  I definitely needed to be free of the aggravation of bag checking/loss, especially on a three-legged flight.

The second page shows my everyday bag, which I will tuck into the big orange market bag for boarding the plane.  This bag will carry two sketchbooks, pens, one waterbrush, a wallet with my credit cards and debit cards, my passport, sunglasses, two boxes of gum, my phone, and a few blank checks.
 Page three is the messenger bag, canvas, unconstructed, floppy, velcro closing, very malleable and pillowy.  It also seems to expand forever.  The only challenge is keeping it light enough to haul through three airports.  I first packed the scrubba  so that we can wash our laundry quickly and remove the water in the special lightweight but very absorbent towel.  Also down on the bottom is an extra pair of shoes, super comfortable, great for everything shoes.  Then I pared down the clothing to 2 pairs of jeans;  3 pairs of underwear; 1 bra; 2 pairs of socks; 4 tee shirts ; two light sweaters; a hairbrush; a small canvas bag of toiletries and the quart bag of liquids-- shampoo, etc.  I am also slipping in one of the heaviest books to even out the weight of the two bags.
The rest I will wear, no matter how warm it is tomorrow.  A tank top, underwear, tee shirt, sweater, jeans, socks, and the heavier of the two pairs of shoes.

I may or may not post over the next two weeks, but in either case I'll be drawing every day and will do catch-ups when we get home.  If I can get good photographs with P's iPad I can post from there.  


  1. Bon voyage! I can't wait to hear about your adventure! You are super duper organized. Love your drawings!

  2. You and I are exact opposites, Gwen! How I wish I could travel light like you....every time I end up with a 2 big case scenario! Oh well, vive la difference!

  3. Safe travels, Gwen! And have a fantastic time! Hasta luego! ♥

  4. travel well and safely, may you have fine adventures!