Friday, October 1, 2010

Backpacker's Best Bits, part 1

Have you ever been exploring in a foreign country? What was the best item from your closet that you took with you?

I've done a lot of travelling around New Zealand and four ventures across the Tasman Sea, but it's taken a long time for me to learn what to pack so I can relax and enjoy my adventure.

Yes, that's travelling light for me! I didn't have a car to tote all my extra might-be-useful objects.
However, I did fit in a wetsuit and a computer.


For three weeks in May and June I was researching a novel in Queensland, Australia. (See here for more details on that.) It called for travelling light and packing for convenience and adaptability.

I had one major thing in my favour -- a temperate climate. Laundry would dry fairly quickly if there wasn't too much humidity, and I wouldn't need bulky winter layers. I hoped.

BUT I'm a girl who likes to be prepared for every situation. You know the type? Then you know that travelling light is no mean feat. I'm pleased to announce there were only three items of clothing that I didn't use. There were two good excuses for this.
  1. It didn't rain.
  2. Ninety minutes before I expected to leave for a party, my brother said, "We're leaving now", so I went in what I'd been wearing all day.
I took one skirt and packed a second one to wear while the first was being laundered. The first one turned out to be...

Best Bit #1: MERMAID SKIRT

Boutique Narelle mermaid skirt in printed stretch cotton with polyester lining.

I just got it finished in time for the trip. It doesn't require pressing after laundering, and I could wear it for a week and it still wouldn't look creased.

It was
  • classy enough to wear to a party;
  • practical enough to roam a beach in or climb up to a lighthouse (being fitted over the thighs and full from above the knees, it gives kick room without exposure due to gusting breezes on beach or train platform);
  • and comfy enough for hours seated on planes and trains without ruffling my sense of well-being.

The original lighthouse at Burnett Heads, just north of Bundaberg.

Pardy duds, Brisbane

The skirt looked good enough that a woman stopped me in Bundaberg Library to say how much she liked it, and Aussie film legend David Ireland came across the restaurant on Lady Elliot Island to say "Nice dress." Yep, I'll definitely pack that dress again.

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