New phone, new clothes, new shoes, new luggage. Over-prepared and under-packed. Studied up on Becket and Beckett, Roman Britain and prehistoric Ireland. But nothing really prepares you for travel and isn’t that sort of the point? By changing your location you expose yourself to happenstance and happy accidents.
I didn’t overpack. But I took too many of the wrong things. I reasoned that I would change into the type of person who likes to shop while traveling. I didn’t. I remember now how a friend had to urge me to purchase every cool thing I ever bought in Italy. Without a push I won’t try anything on. I’ll listlessly flip through hangers sighing and looking out the window at buskers and street food.
Except for shoes. Trying them on doesn’t involve strange dressing rooms and near nakedness. Alas, shoes don’t pack well. Four pairs is too many. You can only wear one pair at a time and invariably it will be the wrong pair.
The wool sweaters and scarves are irresistible in Ireland. They don’t pack into carry on very well either. Four sweaters is too many. You can only wear so many on hot days and may end up tying them around both your neck and waist. Or arranging them artfully on your suitcase. No one does this gracefully. Regardless of the quality of the cashmere, piling on sweaters will transform your silhouette into that of a person who has too many cats at home. Or a wool fetish. Or both.