We leave for Amsterdam in the morning.

My seventeen year old thinks she’s going to get stoned with her parents. Isn’t she cute?

How do you say, “Not in this lifetime,” in Dutch?

We will be gone for a week in our attempt to see as many of Van Gogh’s paintings as possible. I’ve been to Amsterdam before, but our kids were little both times, and those trips are blurred into so many other adventures reduced to “Where are we going to change a diaper?” and “Holy hell, it’s time to eat again?”

We are only taking our youngest this time. The three of us hitting the canals while the other two get to stay home and practice being adults.

Back in the day, I was happy to have underwear and a pair of pants that fit me. Now that I have more time, I find myself fighting the urge to bring an extra pair of jeans or that weird sweater I try on once or twice a year but never wear. Maybe it will look just right in Amsterdam. Maybe I’ll want two perfumes, my new blow dryer, and three or four scarfs.

I will not need, nor will I wear, any of this.

There is something about having to pair one’s daily routines and habits down to one wheely box that brings clarity. What do I really need for a week? And if I don’t need it for the seven days I am away, why do I need it when I’m home?

I’ve been working on making the inconsequentials in my life more turn-key. Eliminating the garbage and the things that take up space.

Ignorance was bliss when I was schlepping kids and simply hoping everyone minded the gap. Now that I am no longer wiping tears over failed souvenir runs or who got to choose the breakfast place last, there’s time to think.

Should I shower now or tomorrow morning? Which travel app is the best or will I need a hat? Don’t even get me started on chargers and cords.

Sigh… My youngest probably has the right idea. I should just get baked and then it won’t matter what shoes I’m wearing.

My thoughts from the laundry room. Travel Pillow.

Adapting choices crazy life Routine stuff thoughts travel

6 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Ah, yes. Nothing like packing for an adventure that brings out the real you:). I find I pack lots of black turtlenecks. Not sure what that says about me . . . possibly nothing more than I am a woman who likes black turtlenecks. Enjoy. Adventure away. And for God’s sake, don’t change any diapers. Those days are over:).

  2. take a shirt for every day, two pairs of trousers/jeans- including the one you’re wearing, comfy shoes to fly in, fancy shoes for dinner, perhaps a dress. washbag with: minimal makeup, shampoo, conditioner, facewash, toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser. A book. notebook and pen. music device (phone/ipod/whatever) and headphones. roll your clothes up rather than folding them, you’ll have more space in your bag. That’s it really. Obviously a camera too. Maybe wear a jacket with decent pockets and a canvas bag so that you can use it while you’re there.
    Have fun!!

    • Oh. And underwear. Don’t forget that. I tend to make sure I have too many pairs of underwear and socks. Because for some reason I always underpack them, even when I make sure. So yeah. Underwear is important!

  3. Pack warm, pack comfortable, and buy postcards as souvenirs. Easy to get home and you can always frame them as a collage of ‘where have we gone’ kind of thing.

    Most importantly: Have Fun.

  4. For a week, just changes of underwear and tops—tees and sweaters–layer them so you won’t have too many things to pack. Maybe a nice skirt and dress-slacks. . .the important thing is to enjoy yourself, have fun and leave space in the suitcase for that “I-can’t-leave-this-behind-and-have-to-buy-it-now” item, whatever it is 🙂 Have a fantastic week!

  5. Hahahaha. Do what I do — take the things I don’t usually wear at home and discard (or give away) before leaving. Creates room for souvenirs in my suitcase too and if I miss something I leave behind I can always go back and look in the pictures. Memories count.
    Love your stories. Always brightens my day. Thanks.
    Enjoy your trip!!

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