Proving Mom wrong by packing “carry-on only” for two months!

My mother thinks I’m a hoarder. It’s not my fault that I’m attached to all of my childhood memories and won’t let her throw anything away. I blame my dad.

Nicole Dobias, my sister wife, swears by traveling “carry-on only” and so do these bloggers. I read approximately 57 blog posts about “carry-on only” during Con Law but these ones are the most memorable. (Note: I REALLY love the Never Ending Voyage blog. It may look like it was formatted in the late 90s but the content makes up for it.)

I appreciate a good challenge and I REALLY love proving my parents wrong. For those of you who think this is really ridiculous (it is), here is a better list of reasons why “carry-on only” is the real deal.

  • You don’t have to pay to check your bags.
    • I’m cheap. Didn’t you read my credit card points blog?
    • I’m flying at least 7 different airlines where using USD won’t be a thing. Let’s skip the hassle.
  • You don’t have to worry about your bags getting lost.
    • The LAST thing I want is to end up in Athens without luggage and have to leave for West Africa before it has been located.
  • You don’t have to worry about your items getting stolen.
    • I’ve heard that’s a problem….people suck sometimes.
  • You don’t have to lug around baggage when getting from the airport to your next location.
    • See: The time I brought three bags to DC with Holly Jones and nearly died lugging them around for 3 hours on public transport.

You’re almost convinced this is a good idea, right?!

I packed, re-packed, bought more clothes, and packed again. Here is a picture of my first packing attempt. That’s three pairs of shoes, a suit jacket, a zip up, two Cubs tank tops, a Cubs t-shirt, two pairs of shorts, 5 tank tops, 4 shirts, a shall, 1 pair of hiking pants, 1 pair of dress pants, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of festival pants, a conversion skirt, 3 dresses, 4 bras, 9 pairs of undies, and two swim suits. Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 8.55.24 AM.png

Multiple blogs give seriously cool packing list ideas. Mix and match Pinterest pages work too! I have more than 50 different outfits in this mess. Look–> IT ALL FIT!

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Okay okay, fine. I won’t bring my cats.

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I can hear you screaming, “WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS YOU STUFFED ALL YOUR CLOTHES IN?” Rest assured, nothing is “stuffed” in there. Everything is rolled or folded. Those “things” are called packing cubes. They eliminate air pockets and dead space. I originally went to REI to purchase their mesh set (less expensive) but one of the employees told me the mesh tends to rip if you put too much in them. I had a lot of clothing to stuff into these (two months worth of shit to be exact) so I opted for the more expensive set made by Eagle Creek. There is a third packing cube in this set that I ended up using for small things like bobby pins, make up, folding laundry line, etc.) My dad also bought me the Eagle Creek sport, wet/dry, separation cube that I used in my backpack.

The shoes and awkwardly shaped items filled the dead space on the bottom of my bag. (I promise I will blog about the bloggers who told me which bag to buy later.) My suit jacket laid on top and then little things like a miniature hair straightener, life straw, and selfie stick fit into the sides.

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There were  a few moments of panic from the time I packed my bag and the time I ended up leaving Valpo. There is a laundry mat near the law school in Beijing but my annoyingly sensitive skin probably won’t react well to a new and harsh detergent. Instead, I purchased a laundry line and camping detergent strips. That should help when I need to wash my clothes and re-wear them. (Maybe I read a blog about washing your clothes in the shower….) Regardless, I felt that I needed more clothing options. Travel bloggers don’t typically spend two weeks in a law firm or have a Chicago Cubs clothing addiction.

Here is a picture of the clothes that made the final cut. Ha. I said cut didn’t I? Fine. Here is a picture of the clothes that got added to the first round of packing.

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That is two swim suits, 4 bras, 13 pairs of undies (because they don’t like big butts in China and don’t come in my size), three shalls, a flannel, a zip-up jacket, a shorter skirt, three pairs of shorts, six tank tops, four shirts, a suit jacket, a Cubs t-shirt, two Cubs tank tops, six pairs of pants ( I added sweats for sleeping and a pair of grey leggings), 6 dresses, a conversion skirt, a maxi-skirt, and three pairs of shoes. That’s more than 70 mix and match outfit options. Spoiler alert, I’ll probably only wear about 20.

Wish me luck peeps! For the first time EVER I’m living life as a minimalist.

Hey Mom, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! You can throw out all of my stuff in the attic… KIDDING. DON’T DO THAT. PLEASE.