Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is essential?

I spent much of today packing for my trip to Jerusalem. The task: to live for three weeks on the contents of one suitcase. And, to have enough room in the suitcase for the books I am bringing with and the souvenirs I plan to bring back.

I'm no novice to international travel. I've been back and forth to New Zealand six times. However, then I was staying with friends - where I could do laundry easily, and borrow clothes if required.

All day I kept asking (with the help of a consultant, my Friend From Down State): Do I need that? Do I really need that? It was part daring and part trust to pull out of the suitcase the things she thought I could live without.

Part of the challenge is that the weather in Jerusalem is quite variable at this time of year. At night, the lows will be under 40 (F). During the day, temps will range from 40-55 (F), but we've been told it's extra warm there right now, and the day we land it'll be about 65 or 70 (F).

Essentially, I've packed one of every sweater weight. One fleece, one mid-weight sweater, one light-weight sweater, one technical sweater, one pashmina. I've packed a few different pairs of trousers, one pair of blue jeans, one pair of dressier pants, a dressy blouse, a clergy shirt, a few turtlenecks and a few T-shirts. It feels a bit risky, I'm used to taking more when I travel abroad.

This journey (to Jerusalem and beyond) feels like it's about learning to live with less, because I can. I'll let you know how I fared.


Margaret Evans Porter said...

You will not only live well, you will prosper!

Theodoric said...

What can you take to wear, and then leave behing while you put something more valuable in your suitcase for the return trip?

Fran said...

@Theodoric - that might have been an option. But, I've really pared down my at home wardrobe so I didn't want to leave things behind. I think, in the end, I am happy with the minimalist packing.