I only travel with a tiny carry-on and backpack for all flights and trips, no matter the length. The secret sauce for me is five days of clothes total and lots of laundry. Just last September I traveled to Southern Spain for a black-tie wedding and Lisbon for about two weeks. I spent three hours packing to get down to the absolute basics, but I made it to down to one tiny carry-on and backpack that included three fancy outfits. My key for that trip was sturdy sandals (like Birkenstocks) that can double as sneakers and one-pair of relatively low-maintenance heels that can double for day-dressing.
I have a practical appreciation for efficient public transit. I will always take the train over a taxi, so I need to make sure that I can fit through any turnstile.Â Funny enough, I met my French boyfriend because I couldnâ€™t get my suitcase through a metro turnstile en-route to the airport, and then this beautiful man showed up to help me. Our romance was short, but definitely had some cinematic-worthy moments.
The other aspect to my minimalism is that three years ago, I sold all my furniture before moving to San Francisco. In a series of two years, I moved cross-country four times for work and spent a lot of time sleeping on friendâ€™s couches. I couldnâ€™t accumulate stuff because my life had as much grounding as the wind. Fast forward to today, and all I dream about is buying a bed and staying put.
I LOVE airports! From one place I can go anywhere in the world continually blows my mind! I can stay at one gate and go to New York (my hometown), Bangkok, Abu Dhabi or Atlanta. Thatâ€™s nuts! I arrive at airports two hours in advance, but I love exploring airports and get caught up in the restaurants and shops. On more than one occasion, Iâ€™ve heard over the loudspeaker, â€œThis is the last call for Flight TBD. Wendy Wecksell we are about to close the gate.â€ At which point, I run across the terminal to make the flight and get stared down by all my fellow passengers with a clear â€œWTF!?â€ expression!
A plane can be quite constrained for me, despite my enjoyment of flying because Iâ€™m in my natural state when Iâ€™m in motion. I grew up as a dancer and itâ€™s still something that brings me a ton of joy. My desire to stretch my legs requires an aisle seat, to not be a total nuisance to the people next to me. Iâ€™ve gotten better at sitting still after 15 years of yoga and a fairly disciplined meditation practice. I make sure to meditate on the plane, do some seated yoga poses, journal, listen to Audible, perhaps do some long-form writing or deeper thinking work. If the flight is 5 hours or longer, only then do I watch a movie.
Wow, I am literally one-step away from living the life of an early-bird special.
On the food side of things, my friend Molly Maloof, who is a physician in SF and focuses on life-hacking, taught me that the way to fight jet lag is to fast on planes. Therefore, I only drink water on long flights. Since Iâ€™m a serial coach-flyer (welcome to start-up and philanthropy world!), Iâ€™m not tempted with free wine or yummy food options.
I swear by my RAINS backpack andÂ Away suitcaseÂ for luggage. You’ll always find coconut oil in my toiletry bag – it’s good for your hair and body, and triples as a makeup remover.Â I donâ€™t tan. I tomato. I take this sunscreen with me EVERYWHERE! In my suitcase you’ll find myÂ Happiness Journey moto jacket,Â cropped Hanes t-shirts,Â Sweaty Betty capri pants, my thrift store cargo jacket orÂ Mexico is the ShitÂ jacket, andÂ Le Spec aviators. This mini steamer is my answer to wrinkles, no matter how I fold or roll my clothes. I literally dance down streets and airport terminals, so Spotify is a must for my phone. I’ll also listen to books on Audible during a flight.