Please Note: The next blog entry won't be until the end of May or beginning of June.
Paris is not so much a visit as much as an education.
I suppose that could be said of most travel, but it is especially true of Paris.
In his book, The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton asks why we travel: "We are inundated with advice on where to travel to but we hear little of why... might in modest ways contribute to an understanding of what the Greek philosophers beautifully termed eudaimonia, or 'human flourishing.'"
What to pack?
Pack light: I have struggled to wheel too many heavy and unwieldy suitcases through crowded city streets and over cobblestone lanes. Conversely, I have traveled out of a backpack which is the best training one can have in economy. I will be traveling to different destinations with cool, rainy weather, so layering is important. I will be walking a great deal, bicycling, riding public transportation, traveling to different countries on the train, so economy and comfort is important as well. Pack a few essentials and dress them up with accessories; jewelry and scarves take up a lot less suitcase room than whole outfits.
I think of packing as a composition. I begin with one great pair of black pants: slim fit, side zipper, great fabric. Add one black turtleneck for cold days, a pale gray or navy silk sweater, one white silk shirt. Layer with leather bomber jacket on cold days, jean jacket for warmer days. Add appropriate jewelry, bright scarf or rebozo to wrap around my neck, and very comfortable flats. I carry a leather tote or a saddle bag.
For special evenings: I add a vintage silk shell from Morocco and a vintage Bill Blass early '60s black cocktail jacket, a mass of real and play pearls, and clutch.
I'm packed for a three-week trip. Obviously I take a few more things, but the concept remains the same: pack simply and light.
I roll up my clothes and take a travel sized hand steamer to smooth out wrinkles (Don't forget the electrical outlet converter). I take a few toiletries, but no hair appliances. My suitcase is small enough to carry on the plane.
With passport, airbnb reservations (the best way to stay anywhere!), the tripadvisor app on my phone (for offline guides), and museum card in hand, I am off for an adventure and won't be back until June. Plan a trip and map your universe. Don't wait.