Last fall, I took off to road trip around the South West of the USA for a month. Road trips mean many hours spent in the car; for this trip, the shortest drives averaged about four hours and the longest ones went on for more than eight hours. I’m not the most calm or ‘chill’ person, so you would have thought being on the road for hours on end like that drove me mad. On the contrary though – with the right company and armed with an arsenal of good tunes, snacks and drinks, I actually really enjoy ‘enforced chill time’ where I am forced to relax.
Similar situations would be on planes; while I dread being stuck with bad air, not-great food and cramped legs for hours (24-hour flights to NYC, hello!), there is some simple pleasure in being forced to sit still with nothing to do but to find ways to pass one’s time – watching endless documentaries and chick flicks, finishing books and spending good time on my guilty pleasure, fashion magazines.
So while having to sit still for hours demands comfortable attire, the vain ones (like myself!) still want to look good. Packing for this trip proved challenging; outdoorsy stuff for hiking Yosemite and the Grand Canyon; catching shows and checking out nice restaurants in Vegas; chilling in Big Sur and Napa Valley; plus I don’t do well with cold so I had to make sure I packed sufficiently warmly – all this while packing light as we were on the road the whole time!
I found the trick was in bringing a lot of versatile pieces that I could layer and switch around, plus some lightweight outdoor gear and some warmer things to make sure I wasn’t miserable from being cold. That meant things like denim shirts, gilets, scarves, fitted tees (long and short-sleeved) to serve as a first layer, lightweight jumpers I could layer over my shirts, fuzzy jumpers for warmth (and texture!), leather pants, jeans, beanies, hats, woolen tights and cute skirts (they don’t take up much space and it can’t ALL be practical stuff; how boring!).