Browsing Tag


Packing, Prep, Rome, Travel

Travel Rules I Break and Why!

February 28, 2015


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Everyone one has a travel style. Many people avoid checking bags, only bring backpacks, look for the cheapest flights and take tons of photos. Others do the exact opposite and over pack, bring lots of suitcases and buy tons of stuff.  I probably fall somewhere in the middle of all this. Here I explain my reasoning for why I travel the way I do.

Packing light – No, I don’t pack everything I own and I do try to pack only what I think I will need, but I don’t think you need to pack light. You should enjoy your trip and if that means having your favorite clothes and shoes then pack them! (Or for me, my favorite travel pillow) Travel should be enjoyable and that means feeling good about yourself. You should wear what makes you feel good. I also like to have a backup outfit. You never know what can happen (staining your shirt or being invited to a party) and I don’t want to waste my travel time by shopping.

Checking bags – So this goes along with the first. I rarely don’t check a bag. This is for several reasons. I don’t like to carry a backpack as my only suitcase. I am very short and they get very uncomfortable for me. Usually my shoulders hurt by the time I have arrived at my destination and that is only with carry on items in it. Of course, this could be that I am out of shape!! I also have a hard time getting suitcases into the overhead bin because of my height. I also usually don’t change hotels once I arrive somewhere, so it isn’t a big deal to me to roll my suitcase to the hotel and back to the airport.  I have the four-wheeled ones that are great for this! I also usually fly Qatar Airways and I don’t have to pay to check a bag. That being said, I also don’t mind paying for one bag. It is a small price to pay for not having to lug my stuff around on my back!

Cheap travel – We all love a good travel deal, but I also want the schedule to be right for me. That usually means as few stops as possible (non-stop is best) and not traveling overnight. I know how my body operates and I need sleep. I am a terrible person to be around when I have had very little sleep and my joints ache. This means I usually end up paying $200-$300 more per flight as I want the schedule that everyone wants, but I also enjoy my trip more. It also means, I look for good deals on hotels or Airbnb instead. On my trip to Rome, I scored an Airbnb apartment for one week for $500!

Photos – I fall into the takes lots of photos category. Not thousands, but hundreds. Since I travel alone, this isn’t a big deal as I am not making someone stop to take photos. I also tend to take several shots of each scene to get it right. This is because I am trying to improve my skills. That being said, I still want to see the things I came to see without the camera. Take time to look at everything. I read a study that said taking lots of photos causes us not to remember what happened.

Talk to strangers –  I talk to strangers! I am from Texas and this comes naturally to me. It doesn’t matter if I am traveling alone or with someone else. Sometimes it doesn’t happen because I am in a place where English in’t spoken and my poor language skills don’t allow for it. But I will speak to strangers. I love learning about people and their stories! It’s one of the main reasons I love living abroad. Just do it, you won’t regret it. Start by saying hello or commenting on what you are both looking at.

What are some of your travel “rules”? Is there anything you can’t live without while traveling?


One week left

July 30, 2013

One week left!  There is still a lot to do.  Every day I check more things off my list, but more things get added.  Today and tomorrow, I am running errands.  I hope to get everything into the suitcases tomorrow and Thursday.  I need to see how much they weight, so that way I don’t end of up with tons of overweight baggage charges in addition to the excess baggage fees I will already be paying.  Thankfully, I am completely out of my apartment in Fort Worth.  I only have to go back to Fort Worth on Thursday for a vet appointment for my cat.

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My friends and family have been great through this whole process.  I had a going away lunch at work, my knitting friends had a party for me at my last knit night and then I had going away party for my friends in Fort Worth.  This week I am having a going away party for Dallas friends and some relatives.  A few of my cousins are coming from Kansas to see me! My parents came over to help me pack last week and then met the movers at their house.  Yesterday, my friend Kristina kept me company while I finished packing and cleaning at my apartment and helped clean.  I will miss everybody!

Now I go back to the list!

Prep, Qatar

Packing and Purging

July 24, 2013

Where do you begin?  What do you take with you? What do you keep? What do you toss?  I knew I didn’t want to take a lot with me.  My housing is completely furnished, thankfully!  I could either ship my stuff or take it with me on the plane.  The minimum to ship was 500 pounds!  I guess if I had a family or was taking furniture I would have that much, but there was no way I was going to have 500 pounds of stuff to take. Originally, I thought I would put my things in storage because my parent’s “storage unit” was full.  (They don’t really have a storage unit, but some space I have stored my life in before.) My parents decided that some of the things in the “storage unit” could be sold and I could store some of my belongings there.  This meant I really needed to purge lots!  A couple of weeks ago, I decided to see how much of my clothes would fit into my suitcases.  I had purged my closets a while back, but not nearly enough.  Apparently, when you have space you keep stuff you don’t really wear.  When I was done this time, I had eight bags of clothes to give away and that was just my closet!  Ack!  (Don’t judge, I used to work in retail.)  There will be more clothes (and shoes) to go to charity after tomorrow.

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The real killer in all this was that I knew I needed to purge my books because there isn’t enough space for all my books in the storage space.  I easily have over 200 books.  Most archivists and librarians would balk at getting rid of them, but I wanted to make the decision about what to keep and not come home to my Mom having a book sale.  The key in this was making sure my Goodread’s list of books read were all up to date, so I would at least know what I had in my collection.  So far I have gone through most of the books and have only kept two boxes.  I still have books to go through so I imagine there will be one more box and three boxes was my goal!  And yes it hurts to give them away, but at least I know they are going to a good home.

Of course, lots of other things have gone in the trash.  Two dressers went to the curb today and were immediately taken.  My sister is taking some of the other furniture and some things are getting sold.  The lesson I have learned in all of this is that you should purge your stuff every year.  I could have saved myself tons of work!

PS. Thanks Mom for helping with the packing and purging.  And thanks to Dad who will come take down curtain rods in an apartment for me for probably the 100th time!