sister and I are planning a trip together to London. Iíve never done
anything like this before, so it will be an adventure.
"Iíve traveled so much that Iím an expert at
traveling light," my sister told me.
I was glad one of us is. I always take everything I
own "just in case." Just in case never happens, and I drag
it back home untouched. The only time I ever tried to travel light, I
ended up having to go shopping and buy a dress so I could go to a
"I want to take stuff I already have," I
said. "Would dresses be okay?" I figured since we were going
to a city, dress would be appropriate. I had planned to take my big,
giant suitcase on wheels so I could get everything inside that I could
"Take three pairs of slacks, and three
shirts." "That includes what you are wearing."
Good grief! We are staying a week!
"Take stuff that doesnít wrinkle and doesnít
Well, that eliminates the need for a travel iron.
"No one dresses up any more, " she said,
"and no one will care what you are wearing."
"Jeans, are jeans too casual?"
"No, but jeans are heavy. We will use public
transportation and you have to lift your suitcase. Donít you have
I didnít, but I will need a few things for fall
anyhow. Since Iím not taking very much, guess I can afford new
She sent me a list of what to take. I immediately
noticed that it did not include hot rollers or even a curling iron.
"I have to take my hot rollers," I said, "Or I will
look awful the whole time."
"Okay, you can take them if they fit."
What a relief.
I looked at the list again: jacket, raincoat, poncho,
and umbrella? Are they expecting a hurricane? I know it rains a lot in
London, but Iíve never owned a poncho in my life.
"I have an extra," said my sister. "I
like to be prepared."
"Stocking hat and gloves?" ButÖ Itís
"It might get cold at night."
"Where are we going, London or Moscow?" I
was starting to get sarcastic.
She will bring an extra hat and gloves. She will also
bring an extra suitcase of the right size, 18"x12"x36"
and a tote bag with a long handle, not to mention a travel clock, duct
tape, stuff to do hand laundry, and on and on.
"Laundry? Iím on vacation! Canít I just take
extra underwear? How much room can that take?"
She also told me that hotels donít give you
washcloths in Europe.
My God, are we camping out? Should I pack toilet tissue?
I also donít wear those undershirts or socks on the
list. Okay, Iíll buy socks, but no undershirts! I draw the line
there. Yes, Iíll wear my gym shoes, since "comfortable shoes
are a must," but Iím also bringing a pair of real shoes
"just in case. Itís bad enough that I have to go to the theater
in dirty slacks; I refuse to go in gym shoes.
I nearly had another stroke when I found out the hotel
does not provide a free courtesy van from the airport. We will ride
the Underground, whatever that is. I already know I donít like it.
But I want to be a good sport.
If you see two ladies at the airport with gloves,
stocking hats, sunglasses, raincoats, and ponchos, wearing dirty
clothes with wrinkles - it will be us. Please do not call airport
security. We are not terrorists. We are just traveling light.