It's zip-tied and shrink wrapped and tagged for French customs with a photo of my passport attached for French customs.

It’s zip-tied and shrink wrapped and tagged for French customs with a photo of my passport attached


OK …this is in no way a complaint, just my thoughts on packing for a trip…any trip.  I DO know that I am very fortunate to be taking this journey.  

“Love to travel, but I detest packing”–words that were in an email to me from friend Linda who was packing her suitcase for a trip to New York. And then I emailed Sue who is also packing for France and titled the email: “Slogging through”.  Her response: “Slogging along with you…can’t understand what on earth is taking so long!”

So the caveat here is that I used to fly all the time, often more than once a week, for work. I could pack a bag for any part of the United States in thirty minutes and get my briefcase organized at the same time. What in the heck has happened during the past fifteen years? I procrastinate, I cannot decide what to take. There are far too many lotions and potions that MUST go with me. As I equivocated about hairspray this morning (it could blow up in the bag, leak all over the place, add eight more ounces to an already burgeoning bag) I finally said to myself, “Susie, do you suppose they have hairspray in Nice?” with just a little attitude.  (I used to say all these things to Tazzie and she always nodded and looked as if she understood.) Et voilà. Hairspray stays here. I have been organizing to pack my bag for a week now. Just not at all happy with myself about this protracted process.

I wonder what would happen if I took a minimalist amount of well-worn clothes to last for six weeks and then left them in France and filled my return bag with presents and tea and herbes de Provençe and perfume…just a thought.

The point of this little riff on packing is that it is getting harder to pack. There are TSA regs, there is the concern about theft at the airport baggage handling…so don’t pack good jewelry, don’t put anything valuable in the suitcase. Then there is dividing what goes into carry-on from what is checked, always with “what if my bag doesn’t get there”? “at least I’ll have______in my carry on.”

And I think there is a little bit going on about age. Dang…I really do hate to say that.

As a nod to the arm that does not work so well, my large suitcase leaves Friday and will be there when I arrive, so major packing will be finished by Friday AM. Dr.Joe will be pleased at that move.

What are your thoughts, you fellow travelers of a certain age?


  1. I have been through that process myself many times regardless of where I’m going or for how long. I believe that once I get to the “I can buy it there stage” I’ve achieved an ah-ha (!) moment! Then packing becomes easier. You know what-I’m guessing France has modern laundry facilities! Pack lightly so that you can bring back your teas and potions. Life’s an adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having traveled in France with you and having carried your suitcases up a couple flights of stairs, I celebrate you cutting back! I rarely travel light because I keep thinking of one more thing but when I went to Ecuador 3 years ago with Las Abuelas, I traveled with just a carryon, knowing I’d be dragging whatever I took onto buses and through city streets. I didn’t miss having anything!

    Don’t even ask about age…

    Looking forward to reading more.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well Sistah..Bag is closed, jettisoned a couple of thngs, added a couple of things, have holes in places that will hold returning goodies and it is well under 50#. Give me a high five. Elevators to both Nice and Paris apartments. No stairs to negotiate.
    Fed Ex picks it up tomorrow and it will be waiting for me in Nice. I am impressed!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too have experienced years of packing for business travel to destinations all over the world and would add thirty minutes to my dressing ritual. Now in retirement in takes days and every bag is a two man lift! I understood the work mission and necessary tools better than I get this retirement gig.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brave traveler time tossed
    bright candle in the night
    Prowl deep the left bank
    like sponge in salt and blue
    go nicely to Nice with wings
    on hungry cloud. Hurrah!
    Hip hip hurrah for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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