Meg looked up from her tea with disdain. “Why the heck would you possibly need three bathing suits?” she asked.
“I want to be on the beach all the time!” I protested.
“Yea, well, you probably won’t be,” Meg snapped. “Take two swimsuits, MAX, you little pack rat!”
I glowered as I plopped the red bikini into the Leave-With-My-Bro-in-the-U.S. pile, but Meg was right: I thought I had packed light, but the half hour schlep through SFO Airport taught me I needed to go even lighter. With wonderful Meg’s wise insights (and rockin’ insults) I eliminated nearly a fourth of my overpacking (!!!), including scissoring out half my travel book (regarding Malaysia and the Philippines, since I ain’t goin’ there), and chucking a giant flowered skirt and five tank tops that look exactly the same. The resulting puffy blue bag is now more of a buddy and less of a giant obese beast clawing my waist with arms of lead.
According to my sweet friend Marleny, everyone needs both “Yes” friends and “No” friends. “Yes” friends are the ones who embrace all your ridiculous ideas and buoy you through them with their positivity and encouragement. “I want to marry Li’l Wayne!” you say. “GREAT!” the “Yes” Friend responds. “Let’s find out where he lives and buy you a good push-up bra!” The “No” friend, on the other hand, is necessary so you don’t die. “I want to have unprotected intimate relations with Li’l Wayne!” you declare. “You are an idiot,” the “No” friend responds. We love them both :)
“Which kind of friend am I?” Meg asked me, after I told her this theory. I laughed uproariously then gave her a giant hug. Thanks to her, I may smell really bad over the next 8 months, but I won’t have a broken back by September.
What the heck is in the newly svelte blue backpack:
– 2 t-shirts; 4 tank tops
– 3 long-sleeved shirts
– 2 pairs of pants (1 jeans, 1 hiking)
– 3 shorts with pockets
– 2 bathing suits
– 1 skirt
– 1 sarong to use as towel and 1 bandanna to use as washcloth
– 7 pairs socks, 14 pairs underwear, 5 bras
– Sneakers, sport sandals, dressier shoes, flip flops
– Small netbook computer to be purchased off a famous novelist in Japan(long story)
– Assorted first aid, toiletries, plug adapters
– 1 journal, 1 book of crossword puzzles, 1/2 of a Southeast Asia guidebook, plane ticket printouts
– Passport, travelers checks, copies of all vital documents, etc.
-A happy, loving, and inquisitive heart :)
“Why do you have 20 pens??” Meg screamed. “They HAVE stores in Asia!!”
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!