This article is a follow up to Getting Sick of My Clothes – Already and Packing for a 6-Month Trip. It has now been more than ten weeks since we started Our Big Trip and I’m not sick of my clothes anymore. I’m still wearing everything I have except the jeans because it is just too hot in Southeast Asia and India.
Mike pointed out that most of my descriptions in this article are about function over form, which surprised him and I suppose he is right. All of my clothes are black, white or gray so there isn’t too much styling I can do, and who cares anyway. I can wear any combination of tops and bottoms and they always match. Unfortunately, as a result, I always look the same.
I bought one pair of loose pants in Laos and another with elephants on it in Thailand because the pants and capris I brought were sticking to my legs. Both are in black and white. In India, I bought a lightweight white cotton shirt because I needed something new to combat wardrobe boredom. I’m still looking for a crushable wide-brimmed hat and maybe a new scarf for fun.
I had always figured, due to limited space, if I bought anything I would also have to leave something behind. So, I left a tank top in Thailand to compensate for the lightweight pants. Then I left my black and white blouse in trade for the white cotton shirt. And finally, I left 2 of my 3 compression stockings in Varanasi. They actually took up a bunch of space and I haven’t used them since our first flight. Overall, I’ve acquired 3 things and I’ve dumped 2 1/2. So, I actually seem to have a little more space.
I can’t say enough about my cotton gauze scarf, which has so many uses and doesn’t take up any space at all:
- Sweat rag – I use it to catch some of the drips before the sweat gets in my eyes. When I use it on my neck, I don’t get sticky. I have never seen my whole body get so wet as it has in the humidity in India.
- Air filter – In Ranthambhore, getting through town there was so much dust and exhaust fumes I had to double it up over my nose and mouth. I had to do it again in Varanasi for the smoke and smell there.
- Shawl – I wore the scarf as a shawl on the train because the air conditioning worked a little too well. It is also great to cover my shoulders if required to enter a temple (see photo above).
- Fashion accessory – I put it on when I want to dress up my clothes, which admittedly are a little boring in black and white.
- Warmth – In Melbourne, it was essential to wrap the scarf several times around my neck and put my jacket over it.
- Sunblock – There have been times when I didn’t bring a hat, so I wrapped the scarf around my head to block the sun from my face.
But, versatile as my scarf is, I need a little variety and would like to buy another one.
I should tell you about my shoes. I sent one pair of sandals back to California with Josh. They wouldn’t have worked out very well, anyway. My other favorite pair of sandals broke in Koh Tao. Because I had no sandals at all and we were on a tropical island, I immediately bought a pair of thongs. However, it was clear to me that the new thongs weren’t good enough to walk for any period of time, so I found an expensive, acceptable pair of Crocs sandals when we got Phuket. They have worked out really well. I will note that none of the shoes expressly hurt my back, so I’d call my shoe selection a success.
Here is a description of the shoes in the order (frequency) that I wear them:
- Sandals – I’ve worn them more than any other shoes in India and Nepal for several reasons. It is really hot here and I found if I sweat in my Sketchers, I get a blister on the left foot. The other reason is that they are really easy to wash; really important in India, if you get my meaning.
- Sketchers – They are like tennis shoes, but much lighter weight. They are showing a lot of wear on the bottom and they are slippery on marble and wet pavement.
- City boots – I usually wear these to travel. They are comfortable and look good, but they are also slippery on shiny airport floors.
- Hiking boots – I haven’t worn these much lately because it has been so hot. I expect to wear them more in Scotland and Africa. See the photo at the top.
- Water shoes – I have worn them during our island time, but they only take up a little bit of space.
My Wardrobe Go To’s
It has been so hot in India I have had to rinse out everything I wear whenever we get back to the hotel, so I’ve been sticking with the quick-dry shirts.
Special mention has to go to my tan-striped “no-iron” shirt from Chico’s. Anything I get on it comes right out, packing wrinkles fall right out, and it dries quickly when I sweat in it.
Since I’m uncomfortable showing my knees in India I’ve been wearing the loose pants I bought.
I usually wear my black Prana pants to travel, which has pretty much been every other day. They are by far my favorite piece of clothing and I wear them more than anything else. I’m wearing them or my black capris in nearly every picture.
It turns out the yoga pants are little heavy in the heat, so that leaves me three bottoms and the two loose pants I just bought. I haven’t worn the bike shorts since the beach in Koh Tao, but they don’t take up much space and we do have more beach weeks coming up.
What clothes would you take on a six month trip around the world?