A good friend of mine always worries about the airline losing her bag. I’ve never fully considered this until my most recent trip overseas. On a trip that was jinxed from the start and when everything one might imagine going wrong does, what do you do when you finally sink down in a chair in your hotel room with only your carry-on and a blizzard outside?
By the time I arrived at the hotel, I was exhausted. I normally sleep on an overnight flight but sleep eluded me on this flight. Then the re-booked connecting flights, the train, the weather and the new destination of London. All I wanted was a hot bath and a change of clothes. Of course the majority of my clothes were on a holiday of their own – if only my bag could speak.
In my carry-on bag, I had basic essentials. My makeup bag, brush, toiletries, a wrap I always include in case the flight is cold. It always is. Things were not looking good for me. While the idea of shopping for a new outfit is normally appealing, I’d been up for over twenty-four hours, there was a blizzard outside, and evening was quickly approaching. A quick word with the concierge and I was out the door to procure essentials. Just down the block was a chain store. I ducked into it delighted to find a clearance sale. That might be interesting. I grabbed a cotton tank, a long sleeve white tee, and a pair of leggings.
Next up was the pharmacy. While I had the majority of my toiletries, I still needed a couple of things. This was beginning to be fun. I had no clue what one would find in a London pharmacy in travel size containers. I grabbed what I needed and journeyed on to one more store for socks. I desperately wanted to get out of my shoes and socks to the point it was becoming an obsession with me.
Essentials procured, I was back to the hotel for a wonderful dinner and most importantly a hot bath.
Three days later, my bag finally arrived; a bit worse for the wear.
I am happy to say, I love my new purchases. They were serendipitous and basic but they worked with what I had. The tee and tank were wonderfully soft. I was able to pair them with the sweater I had in my bag and the cardigan I’d worn on the plane. I eventually broke down and purchased a beautiful sweater I saw as I made my way back to the hotel after a visit to the National Gallery. I confess, I probably would have purchased the sweater regardless of my situation. The greater point being, I added for relatively minimal expense a few basic items which enabled me to thrive with what I had. Did I really need a checked bag or is a carry on all I truly needed? Here is the secret I learned – I was fine with what I had.
I confess, that I was elated when I opened my bag to find all the things I’d packed. No more washing things out overnight and leaving them to dry. Oh the conflict- minimal versus comfort! I know what I will have in my carry-on for the next flight. I learn and adapt.
So my capsul wardrobe ended on consisting of : black cashmere turtleneck, grey cardigan, grey poncho style sweater, white long sleeve tee, white tank, black leggings, and jeans. The color scheme of black, grey, and white served me well. I was able to mix and match for the occasion.