All remixed except luggage:
- Pinstriped jacket – Gap, thrifted
- Blue pashmina – TJMaxx
- Black dress – Target
- Blue skinny belt – Banana Republic
- Black boots – Banana Republic
- Argyle Socks – J.Crew
- Earrings - wedding gift from husband
- Brown leather satchel – on loan from mom
- Suitcases – borrowed from parents
- Blue carry-on bag – my new Tom Bihn Aeronaut!
Alas, the day has come that I depart on my long awaited research trip to Germany. This research year abroad has long been in the planning and now I can’t believe it’s actually here. Due to some last minute changes, I’m actually going from my arrival in Munich straight unto another flight and heading to Romania for three weeks to see my family there. But after that, I’ll be in Germany at last.
Click here for my travel and packing methodologies…
First, for my travel outfit: I’ve said before that I prefer dresses for flying because they don’t leave me with a jean waistband imprint for 24 hours on my belly. This casual and comfortable black dress comes with the added bonus of not showing stains or spills courtesy of its dark color. Next, my soft pashmina will double as my plane blanket. I chose the jacket over a cardi because it was one less bulkier item to pack, which was also what drove me to wear my boots. They are one of my largest items needing to be packed so I freed up much room in my suitcase by wearing them rather than packing them, and they’re easy enough to slip on and off that they’re actually a smart choice for zipping through airport security. A borrowed brown satchel keeps my wallet and passport on hand while keeping my hands free for other stuff. And ever the sentimental sob, I finished my outfit with a pair of earrings given to me by my sweet husband on our wedding day. I will miss you a ton, T.!
While it may not seem like it, as an academic you do a fair amount of traveling; be it to conferences, on sabbaticals, for research trips, or to accompany students during study abroad. For as much traveling as I’ve already done in my career (and personal life) thus far, I think that on this trip I’ve finally gotten the right combination of packing done that I actually feel good about living out of two suitcases and one carry-on bag for the next ten months. Wardrobe_remix? You’ve seen nothing yet! Watch me remix this list of clothing ad infinitum over the next academic year as I live and breathe my dissertation. (In truth, I’m taking about 80% of that original list since I had to remove about two items from each category after adding my running and hiking clothes to the bunch).
So now on to deconstructing my packing methodology: I was surprisingly enlightened and planned my packing list earlier this summer so that I knew which winter items to place in storage and which to leave out for this trip. So this weekend, all I had to do was pull out that packing post and start tossing things unto my bed. I added running and hiking clothes, pajamas, clutches and purses, reading material and other items I had not worried about before, and then beheld the magnitude of my piles.
This excercise in packing had made me a definite convert to the bundle method. I compared the bundle “one bag” method to the rolling method for a previous trip here, and now I’m certain that this is the solution for getting the most items into one suitcase.
The above bundle holds all of my pants, skirts, dresses, and jackets that I am taking with me for the year. And one pair of shoes as the surprise center!
That above mentioned bundle sits nice and snug at the bottom of this suitcase, with a smaller bundle cradled on top. I did roll smaller items such as technical tees and camis and squished them in any available wiggle room around the two bundles, maximizing my use of any remaining space. I then packed my second suitcase in a similar way, creating bundles with goodie centers (shoes, hairdryers, etc.). I also used the space inside my shoes and filled that with socks, small toiletries, or even a tiny picture frame.
I made one last bundle with my pajamas, a couple of extra tees, and my valuables for storage in my carry-on. I nestled my jewelry, a removable hard drive, and medication inside this tinier bundle that went into my new and wonderful carry-on bag – thank you, E, husband N, A, and A2! I’ve been coveting the Tom Bihn Aeronaut bag ever since E presented it in her travel post a while back.
So now if you’ll allow me to gush just a bit… this bag is wonderful! It’s the largest size it can be while still conforming to carry-on size restrictions for most airlines. This means that you can bring the absolute most you can get away with on the plane with you. This may not seem that crucial but after a horrible bag-loss incident during a weekend conference trip a couple of years ago, I know the value of not having to check a bag! Let’s just say that I did not make the professional impression I had hoped for after my bags never arrived and I spent three days at a conference chairing a panel, listening to papers, and mingling with academics while wearing the same jeans and rumpled top I had flown in.
Ever since then, I’d been wanting a great carry-on that would make checking a bag for shorter trips unnecessary. The beauty of the Tom Bihn Aeronaut lies not only in its storage capacity, but also its versatility. It can be used as a duffle bag with an over the shoulder strap or as a backpack, which is how I’ll be wearing it on this trip, allowing for two free hands with which to pull my two suitcases.
Snacks, reading material, and my laptop were the last things to go in my Aeronaut. With fingers crossed that I truly did remember everything I needed to pack, I embark on this adventure and look forward to reporting next from Europe! Gute Reise! See you all again from the other side of the ocean! S.