What To Carry

Cecily suggested that I start reading her friend’s blog, Capitulate Now, so I did. And now I’ve moved away and will never meet her. Right.

Something she wrote this (last?) week inspired me to write about the packing process. I’ve been working around this stupid issue as I plan what I’m going to take with me:

Anyway, there have been many, many sightings of overly practical footwear, I’ll tell you that much. Overly practical outfits in general. Is it just me, or is it kind of rude to visit a city — a city where there are plenty of modern, educated, worldly human beings who get up and go to work and school and just live their lives every day — and dress as though you’re on some kind of slob safari? And is this rudeness not magnified when you’re white and wealthy and when the country you’re visiting doesn’t have quite so robust a GDP and is also filled with brown-skinned people? I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive. Shit sends a message. Here, walking down the street, we have a Oaxacan native, sipping a coffee, dressed for the office, maybe talking on a cell phone. Nice haircut, good sunglasses. And right behind him we have Tad from Australia, lugging all his worldly possessions on his back and wearing the most horrifying clothes imaginable. Unwashed hair. T-shirt from Thailand. Elastic waistband pajama pants. Flip fucking flops. Seemingly living in fear of the slightest sartorial discomfort, or the possibility that he’ll get stuck in the middle of town and suddenly realize he doesn’t have his camp stove, or whatever it is he’s carrying in his stupid backpack. Which is invariably covered in flag patches. And don’t get me started on what the girls wear, oh god oh jesus I just hate everybody! Put on some real shoes! Put together an outfit! Show some respect! You’re not blazing a trail through the rain forest!

Capitulate Now

So the author has some anger to deal with, but the issue is real for sure. My problem is that the most practical (lightest, most breathable, etc.) clothing available all looks really stupid and outdoorsy, which is unacceptable. I’m trying to find clothes that are both practical and look normal, but it’s somewhat challenging. Suggestions? Please let me know.

As I pack, I’m using onebag.com and this picture from very small array for advice and inspiration.

what the artist brought with her as she arrived home

2 Comments

  1. capitulatenow said,

    August 22, 2008 at 10:26

    Anger issues? I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR FACE OFF!

    Just kiddin’. Hi! We totally have met before, dude. Remember? You said that funny thing (about VIRGINITY)? I’m going to cherish that moment forever; it was so awesome.

    Anyways, I haven’t browsed through your WorldTour-tagged entries yet so I don’t know where you’re going, and also I’m a girl and have only ever packed girl-clothes, so I probably can’t offer you much advice. But! I’m always impressed by fellow travelers when they look a tad dressy. Just a tad. People always act like you’re being incredibly impractical, but what do they know? They’re slobs. They’re probably the ones wearing all that water-resistant outdoorsy crap. Forget em.

    I think if I were a dude, I would pack clothes like this:

    http://tinyurl.com/6x29w9

    Especially that little hanky around the neck. Rowr!

  2. Sean said,

    August 22, 2008 at 10:57

    Oh whoops. You’re right. We have met before.

    I ordered a couple shirts–they aren’t as nice as that weird Italian dude’s, but they’re alright. Maybe I’ll post a picture eventually.