Mother Nature Speaks: A lesson on possessions


There are very few things more sobering than being evacuated out of a natural disaster. While once-in-a-lifetime adventures are something to certainly seek, this is one I do not recommend.

There's a lot to learn about possessions when only so much can be shoved into a vehicle with less than an hour's notice. Beyond humans, animals and photographs that come first in any situation like this, the things that make their way into bags at the last minute are curious.

Of all of the non-vital items mentioned above, I still to this day have no real idea why I chose to grab my squished Penny Passport, postcards (but not stamps), an entire box of doughnuts, and copy of The Lorax. I could have never seen any of my stuff again and I chose to grab my squished Penny Passport? There are so many questions! What do the things we grab as Mother Nature comes crashing in say about us as individuals?
Originally this was to be a functional checklist of smart things to pack for a long, multi-season travel stint. Now, it's also a tried and true disaster preparedness line up for your suitcase, too. Beyond the weird things I chose to grab, the items I packed in my clothing bag a few months ago are not unlike the things grabbed when it was time to evacuate.

This is the actual luggage contents I took on a trip from bikini hot L.A., fashionably cold N.Y.C., sweltering sweet Charlotte, chilly/comfy British Columbia, and late nights at SXSWi in Austin. I took one clothing bag and one tech bag to all of these places over the course of three seasons and was prepared for all of them.

What did I pack? Here's a checklist:

Clothing & Jewelry:
5 Dresses: 1 super fancy, 1 strictly fashionable, 1 fun cocktail, 1 flirty day dress, 1 favorite
5 Tanks: 1 spaghetti basic light, 1 spaghetti basic dark, 1 blue, 1 creme fancy, 1 PJ/bum around
2 Scarves: 1 delicate & light, 1 darker & heavy knit
2 3/4" sleeve shirts: 1 warm daytime, 1 fashionable/evening
2 Sweaters: 1 heavy, 1 fashion
1 Vest: puffy & warm
3 Coats: 1 puffy & warm, 1 jean jacket, 1 super light
2 Pairs of Pants: a pair of black thick legging/riding pants, my favorite jeans
2 Skirts: 1 comfy, 1 long
Pajamas:  1 set
11 Undies: 7 pairs of undies, 4 bras
2 Clutches: 1 fancy, 1 casual
7 Necklaces: 2 fancy, 3 fashionable, 2 everyday favorites
2 Belts: 1 hemp rope & leather, 1 black braided & leather
Other:  Feathers, EcoCuff bracelet, a warm neutral hat, fashionable ring

2 pairs of comfy: TOMS & Mocs
2 pairs of fancy: suede black stilettos & gold ballet wedges
1 pair of adventure: Adventure boots are an absolute necessity, trust me.

Important documents, snacks, toiletries, & first aid:

Makeup Kit: Just the favorites, shampoo & conditioner (travel size), tampons, Advil, baby wipes
Snacks: Chocolate, dried fruit, trail mix
Herbs: 1x mishma for smudging, 2x tea (raspberry & wild lettuce) for bedtime, 1x mullien tea for respiratory issues, 1x dandelion root for digestive issues
Oils: 2x perfume, 1x hemp seed for skin irritation, 1x tea tree for disinfecting, 1x Neosporin + bandaids
Hygiene: deodorant, goat's milk soap
Important documents: Postcards, stamps, journal, pen & calligraphy box, passport, various other critical documents

Over the weekend, when I grabbed my clothes and my people, I wound up with about 2 less pairs of high heels and one extra pair of rain boots, no fancy hanger clothing, no stamps and no makeup. But, all in all, this suitcase lineup is pretty solid. Truth be told though, it's tough to avoid feeling as if none of these items really matter at all beyond my critical documents and journal. Best to stick to using the checklist for travel and not the disastrous kind, ifyouknowwhatImean!

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