For as long as I can remember, my favorite thing about going on trips was the packing. Sure, the sights, experiences, and uncharted territory were all well and good. But, what 7-year-old-me really enjoyed was the packing.
Starting at a minimum of 2 weeks in advance of departure, I would open up my suitcase(s) and start piling in the essentials for a 10-day trip to Dallas: 2 pairs of underwear, a rainbow of Duckhead shorts, my entire Multiples wardrobe, and approximately 37 Cabbage Patch Kids + their birth certificates.
Fast-forward 30+ years, and I've made surprisingly little progress in the way of packing smart and light. Despite the HOURS of pinning packing lists and reading blog posts about how to pack for 6-months and 3 continents in a clutch purse, I still pack for the persona I imagine adopting when I get to where I'm going. Like, of COURSE Julie-in-the-Big-Apple needs spike heels and leather pants when she travels with her 3 little kids and entire extended family.
And Old-South-Charleston-Julie? She'll be strolling the Battery in gingham sundresses and precious sandals, coolly dabbing at the healthy "glow" she's developed while perusing the historic sections of the city and instructing her attentive and similarly-attired children in Civil War history.
Don't get me wrong, summer packing has a lot going for it: lighter clothes take up less space, no socks or giant boots required.
However, there is a major downside of summer travel in the South: sweat. Now, as unladylike as it may be to discuss it, the fact remains that I sweat.
A lot. At the first degree over 70.
I may be unique in this condition, but I suspect otherwise. So, for all you fashion bloggers with your "momiforms" of a cute blouse, mules, and jeans (JEANS?! in the summer?!) and those who throw shade at us moms who do our kid-wrangling clad in workout clothes, you can just can it.
I have a few words for you: humidity, chub-rub, and chafing.
It was still 85 degrees and 10000% humidity at 9pm, and we walked several miles around the city.
Ok, let me just climb off that soap box.
Anyhoo, I really thought I did a good job packing this time. I only packed stuff I actually like and am comfortable wearing, I stuck with items that could be mixed and matched together, and I only packed 4 pairs of shoes.
And yet, I was not prepared for the amount of sweating I would be doing.
Apparently, after 10 years in Nashville, I’ve forgotten everything I learned about true humidity from my time in South Florida.
Honestly, I wore the same thing every day during the day: running shorts, sports bra, tank top, and Tevas. One night I got real fancy and put on a pool coverup for dinner out. See below.⇓
There are several morals to this story, beyond the fact that I am apparently a REALLY slow learner.
Lesson 1: Just pack workout gear and bathing suits for summer travel in the Deep South.
Lesson 2: Lower your expectations for how cute and Instagrammable your photos will be.
A little lower.