The “Just In Case” Traveler

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Over the past five years, after traveling on several trips, I realized I had a problem.

“Hi. My name is Barea and I am an over-packer.”

The first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge it, right? As much as I love to travel, I dread packing. After having dinner with a close friend who was soon traveling to South Africa, I asked, “How many suitcases are you taking?” to which she simply replied, “Just one carry-on.” My mouth literally dropped.

How was it possible for a woman to pack a carry-on for a 10-day vacation to Africa? I was baffled. Even I couldn’t make that  happen on a weekend getaway to a neighboring city! It occurred to me that it had gotten out of control when I traveled shortly thereafter to Dubai and had to buy another suitcase while exploring the Middle East just to get all my belongings back to the U.S.

I had become that girl in the airport with two suitcases, two carry-on bags AND the tote bag! Almost every trip I have taken, I would pack three outfits per day because I am the “just in case” traveler; packing just in case it rains, just in case we go to four clubs instead of two, just in case I don’t like this dress that night I’ll pack a skirt, just in case we do a dinner party I’ll pack the blazer and pumps, too. Even if I would do a weekend getaway, packing seven pairs of shoes and coordinating outfits was normal in my mind. I would never regret it until the trip was over and I was left lugging all the unused outfits home.

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