An outfit for every occasion

At some point I feel the need to discuss my backpack and its contents; after all I describe it as “one very poorly packed backpack” in the blog tagline. Justhow poorlystill makes me laugh.

So…we were off to Central America. Despite A’s vocal emphasis on basic and functional clothes, prior to the trip I just simply did not believe him that there would be no call for dressy clothes during this trip. I could not comprehend that there would be no call for such things as heels, accessories, makeup and a silk dress (or two or three). I would not be told, and so I packed the above and more.

Here’s a sample of what I insisted on taking and the amount of times I wore them. Now remember – I was travelling through Guatemala and Nicaragua…feel free to collapse in laughter:

  • Silver & pink animal print silk dress (1)
  • Black silk jumpsuit (1)
  • Satin kimono dress (0)
  • Black tuxedo jacket with satin trim (2)
  • Terracotta silk shirt (1)

Packing these items I truly believed they would be used. I practically lived in my tuxedo jacket in Sydney – it went with everything. How could there not be an occasion to wear it to a casual dinner in, say, the beachside towns in Mexico or the moutain towns of Guatemala? I packed these items, feeling smug in the knowledge that, should hostel we were staying at threw an impromptu cocktail party, I would be able to whip out one of three outfits and it would be A who was left unprepared and looking for something to wear. Ha ha ha!

My makeup bag was equally laughable. Along with about five MAC eyeshadows – to which I added a sixth on the way (Ricepaper if anyone’s interested, really subtle apricot shade) – there were two blushes, two mascaras, various eyepencils and an eyebrow pencil I threw in just in case. I say this because I don’t even use such a product but I thought that it could come in handy for something or someone…

My accessories included three pairs of earrings, a ring or two and about three chiffon scarves. I will defend myself with the scarves and say they came in very handy when I was practically shorn by an over-enthusiastic and wonky-eyed hairdresser in New York.

At one point, after several beers with some girls at the Zephyr Lodge hostel in Lanquin, the subject of backpacks came up. Joseyanne admitted to her one silk black top. Another girl admitted to one navy blue top with some sequins. I sheepishly told them about my wardrobe…oh how they laughed!Where did you think you were going?

Even funnier was what I didn’t pack, namely a pair of comfortable walking shoes and a pair of boardshorts (handy if you plan to surf).

I have spent most of this trip in a t-shirt, ripped jeans and a pair of thongs. Friendship bands became my accessories a while back (I think that means I’m on the path to becoming a hippie…right?). There was no occasion to pull out my dresses and truth be told I would have felt down-right awkward and out of place if I had. I might have been a bit naive on the packing side, but I certainly wasn’t going to waltz around these poorer countries in these clothes. I can’t quite explain why, but it would have felt damn rude to do so. So I just tucked the clothes into the bottom part of my backpack and carried them around for months.

I wish I could step back six months or so and repack that backpack – if I had emptied all that pointless crap I probably would have been able to lift it. As it was, A had to spend the first four months lifting the thing on to my back because my weak girl arms couldn’t manage the job.

I will say though that I did heed A’s advice on one thing – I left my heels at home. Instead I took a pair of designer gladiator-style sandals. Which I wore about 5 times.






2 thoughts on “An outfit for every occasion

  1. Hilarious post! I love the “just in case” eyebrow pencil – you just never know! I was far more strict with myself when I did my packing for 3 months in South America, but by the time I got to Buenos Aires I was so deprived of pretty things that I practically shopped up a whole new wardrobe of items that I wasn’t going to wear… and proceeded to carry them around for the next month! Eek!

    • Well the eyebrow pencil has now gone, along with many other useless items. I have some time Buenos Aires at the end of my trip, so I suspect I will do the same as you.

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