How to pack your life in one suitcase

..and a carry-on and a handbag.

Task at hand:

You have to fit everything you need to conduct a proper life while travelling abroad for an extended and unknown amount of time.

Let’s work out the math:
1. Suitcase, allowance within Europe: 20 kgs
2. Carry-on: 8 kg
3. Female handbag: 5 kg

Total of kilograms in which to pack your life: 33

Other interesting parameters:
Destination: Cold climates & hot climates
Duration of absence: indefinite

F*cked up

First approach:
You take out all the things you ideally want to take with. It is a mountain. Assessing the situation, you get rid of the obvious extravaganzas. It is still a mountain. You exercise more self-restraint and end up with a still visibly overweight but borderline acceptable stack of wares.

You get rid of 3 pairs of tights (how cold can it be, it is / will be summer after all), a jumper (ditto) and a hoodie (you are too old for it anyway).
In hindsight: You regret ditching all said items afterwards.

The suitcase is a lost cause. You practice this trick where you push with your foot while loading it for weighting, without flinching. You note to self not to forget to make eye contact with the attendant during check-in (you also hope it is a man). You stuff all the heavy items in your handbag. You throw the laptop and remaining portable heavy stuff  in the carry-on. You figure you’ll stuff them in the handbag if needed. You also throw in heavy items of clothing. You will layer those on top of the endless layers you already have on.

Everything is overweight. You suffer in silence to save face.

You pay excess baggage fees wherever you go through. You get calluses in your hands and a sore shoulder. You wish you had been less petty and taken that etxra pair of heels with you. You also wish you had bought that special offer item at the duty-free.

There is no way to successfully work around this. You can’t pack your life into one suitcase. Deal with it and prepare to either go shopping  or learn to look like the basic version of yourself.

Since it is not happening anyway, don’t strees too much about it. Aim for the actual necessities and research the countries you are visiting to avoid the real unpleasant surprises*

Rich Mix mural in Shoreditch, London

*Like finding out a little too late that the country you are staying in does not sell your medicinal toothpaste. Or that it operates on a different voltage system minus the appropriate converters. Sigh.





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