Happy to join in the challenge my friend and colleague Cate Brubaker of Small Planet Studio has set us globally-oriented bloggers--three blogs this month on the same topics.
"What's the weirdest or dumbest thing you've taken abroad?"
Didn't have to think about this one at all. Immediately I had visions (flashbacks!) of the very dressy dress I packed for my junior year abroad in England. (I'd been told that the last group in the program I was joining had been presented to Princess Margaret, and so I think I was packing with that royal fantasy/possibility in mind. That's my only excuse.)
Now when I say dressy, I don't just mean formal. I mean straight out poufy-poufy. Something like this:
Well, maybe not so extreme as that. But it was pink. And poufy.
Maybe I needed that extra fancy dress to feel ready for my first experience abroad on my own. Maybe it was an expression of the persona I wanted to project in a country that's the setting for so many of my favorite stories. Maybe it was my superheroine costume. All I know is, it took up quite a lot of room in my luggage. And I wore it only once the whole year, to a dinner at an Oxford college, where I got very strange looks indeed.
Now I know better, I hope. By all means, pack a "dress to impress" outfit. But think about a simple black sheath that can be dressed up or down. Like this:
See? That wouldn't take up much room at all. And you'd be ready for anything. Even fantasies of meeting royalty. Really.