Pink Sneaker Tips on Packing 101 – Shopping and schlepping suitcases

My overstuffed mid-size orange suitcase was clearly not going to make it home in one piece. And neither were my 6 pairs of new Spanish leather shoes, 3 pairs of the coolest European designer boots I’ve ever laid eyes upon, 2 gargantuan coffee-table books, 8 glass bottles of olive oil, 6 fragile porcelain china cups, 3 handbags and hundreds of numerous “one of a kind” unique treasures and souvenirs. Yikes!! I might need to purchase additional seating for all of my carry-on bags!

How did I manage to get myself into such a predicament? Being a seasoned traveller, you would think that I would be able to offer courses to newbie travellers on the art of packing!  At the outset of each sojourn, I deliberately pack all of my travel attire in 3 easily transportable bundles - 1 mid-size suitcase, one extra-large carry-on sac and an oversize handbag. C’est tout. I absolutely abhor having to cart luggage from one European destination to another and so I limit myself to a maximum of 3 items only.  Seems simple enough, non?  In theory, this is totally do-able. In practicality, it is nothing but a major “pink-sneaker” lapse of judgement.

Did I really think that the shopaholic in me would not succumb to the temptation of the allure of anything on sale, discounted, unique “one of a kind” coveted “piece de la resistance” limited-edition bargain?  Who are we kidding? Anything that is not available in my neck of the woods is classified as a “must-have purchase me now” hot commodity.  It’s really quite unfortunate that I often-times forget that I live on the other side of the pond and have to figure out how to neatly package up my newly acquired treasures and help them find their way across the ocean to their new digs in my crammed  superfluous armoire.

Yikes!!   And I only schlepped one mid-size suitcase with me!  Like, really? Will I ever learn?

Did I really need to purchase that authentic Spanish Paella pan? And what about that 3 foot high wrought iron replica of the Eiffel Tower?   And those illustrated coffee-table first-edition volumes depicting the entire life’s work of Antoni Gaudi and Salvatore Dali?  Did I actually purchase 3 pounds of dried basil? This might not go over that well at International customs border control.  

What if I just left my stuff on the street corner?   I seriously contemplated abandoning some of my long-sought for “treasures” in my rental apartment, as the thought of having to haul them down five flights of cramped medieval spiral stairs was just too much to bear.  Waiting for the taxi in the pouring rain, holding my umbrella over my bursting at the seams carrier bags so they wouldn’t get wet, I also considered kicking my luggage to the curb.

 Envisioning a leisurely cab ride to the airport, newly liberated from the burden of having to cart my newly acquired loot back to Canada, I foolishly realized that this scenario was neither a wise or realistic option. Perhaps I’ll have to look into the possibility of hiring a personal baggage handler to accompany me on future shopping excursions.  Now that is something worth considering and saving up for!

 Sweating, cursing, berating myself for having over-indulged once again on items I most definitely didn’t need, mercilessly kicking my baggage along the ramp, carrier bags of all shapes and sizes dangling from my arms, I somehow managed to make it onto the plane. Winded, exhausted and out of breath, deliberately ignoring the malicious glares of several passengers who were unfortunate enough to have been either hit, jabbed or poked by one of my pieces of luggage as I struggled to snake through the aisle, I was not looking forward to now being crammed like a sardine in my economy seat.

On that note, vino tinto pour moi, s’il vous plait! Make that two please!!

Come shop and schlep luggage with me...come travel with me...

Coming soon – my entertaining adventures travelling with "The Kid" (my 12 year old niece) in Paris!!

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