Tuesday, October 7, 2014

So you want to be a backpacker

Y'all, I'm a backpacker. It's not something I ever dreamed about, or pictured myself doing, or made space for on my non-existant bucket list. But it's happening anyway, and I'm really excited about it. Despite what my face looks like in the following picture.

attempting the impossible

Let me give you a little context here. I am a serial over-packer. Been doing it since way back when. Like, when I moved to Southern France to work as an au pair for three months, I took multiple suitcases...and my parents still had to ship boxes of my belongings across the ocean. I'm ashamed to admit that publicly, but there it is. Now that my confession has been made and the scene has been set, I hope everyone can fully appreciate the following photo.

fashion + function = love

I'm sitting in LAX and spying on potential celebs while on a three-hour layover to Seattle right now. My backpack is at my feet. It's carrying everything in the above photo. The content total:
  • 3 tanks
  • 2 basic tees (1 black, 1 white)
  • 4 sweaters (1 camel, 1 black/gray combo, 1 plum, 1 orange)
  • 1 raincoat (my first ever Patagonia purchase, and I feel super outdoorsy about it)
  • 1 pair of Timberland boots (see above description of my new backwoods credentials) 
  • 2 pairs of pants (1 black stretchy pair from Anthropologie, 1 pair of leggings-slash-jeans…leans?)
  • 3 tops
  • 1 leather jacket 
Considering my husband only packed three shirts to be worn in rotation throughout our 10-day work-cation, it looks like I still overpacked. But STILL. It all fits into this and it's really not THAT heavy, so I feel like I should get the backpacking world's equivalent of an Oscar.  

my osprey farpoint 40

Assuming you agree, I would like to thank the Academy for this honor, as well as my husband for carrying my laptop in his bag, as well as the extremely helpful travel blog Travel Fashion Girl. Had I not discovered Alex's blog, I would probably be wearing convertible zip-off pants right now along with a sign on my forehead that says TOURIST in all caps. Thankfully, her posts taught me that as long as the items I take are fold-able, breathable, and walk-for-long-distances-able, I don't actually need to buy "travel" gear. For instance, I learned that rayon/polyester blends work really well when it comes to pants. Hence the excuse for my new Anthropologie skinnies. 

at the airport, via @karleykiker on Instagram

Another thing I picked up from Alex's blog: the importance of packing cubes. Prior to our spur-of-the-moment, we-found-really-cheap-tickets trip to Seattle, I had never even heard of packing cubes. Now I wonder what I ever did without them. Remember all of those clothes I showed you earlier? This is what happened to them.

ebags packing cubes

And this is how it happened.

We're on the ground in Seattle now and already having adventures. We've ridden buses, checked into our Airbnb location, and watched the Seahawks game in a local pub. Our plan for the rest of our stay is that we have no definite plans other than working in the mornings and exploring in the afternoons. 

Other notes: Had you gone to my high school, you would know that I wore high heels and a blazer almost every day. Basically I was a 16-year-old who dressed like a sophisticated mom (and absolutely loved it). I like clothes. I like fashion. I like getting dressed up and looking cute. Which is probably why I got reactions like this when I mentioned our backpacking trip:

"Ten days with only a backpack? You're not even going to be able to fit all of your underwear in there!"
"Are you sleeping on the ground?"
"Are you sure you're ready for this?"

I know I didn't mention the underwear thing earlier, but for the record, all of my, um, essentials did fit into my backpack along with the other aforementioned items. We are not sleeping on the ground. It's important to note that when I say "backpacking," I mean that I'm literally carrying a backpack, not that I'm setting up a tent, wearing bug spray, and/or singing campfire songs. And finally, no, I'm not sure that I was ready for this. But we're doing it anyway, and I'm having so much fun with this new experience. And by so much fun, I mean I'm so glad I married a guy who actually knows what he's doing, and that I'm basically claiming his knowledge and confidence as my own and going with the flow.

If you're interested in following our journey, check back for additional blogs and follow us via hashtag on Twitter (@karleykiker) and Instagram (@karleykiker): #kikersenroute. 

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu

No comments

Post a Comment

Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.