Right. I am off to Budapest on Friday. Xmas markets, thermal spas, the Danube.. I am dead excited.
Unfortunately, all this excitement is slightly marred by the fact that I have to be all grown up and get my bag packed. It’s a 3 night trip, so one piece of hand luggage should be more than enough space for me to get all necessary outfit options onto the plane. In theory.
But, there is so much to consider.
December in Budapest. Zero degrees with a chance of snow. So the main focus is of course on keeping warm and making sure that I can actually walk around the city without worrying about making a public spectacle of myself by slipping over on the pavement and having to spend days on end with a big wet patch on my backside. But this practical issue soon becomes a much wider one; how to be practical (i.e. be able to leave the hotel without a) freezing to death b) slipping over) whilst being able to get into cool jazz bars if you want to, or even a club with a dress code. How do you navigate this issue?
I like to think that I don’t actually care about conforming to any kind of dress code; if I’m in a woolly hat, chunky snow boots and thick grey leggings that most people wouldn’t be seen dead in, I’m not phased at all. This is, of course, a case of total self – deception and I spend the whole time noticing how wonderfully well everyone else seems to have managed to bridge the gap between practicality and style. Then, refusing to admit to myself that I am feeling completely inadequate, I insist on going to some kind of bar where I realise, to my horror, that everyone is dressed perfectly for both the bar AND the snow. How is that even possible?
It’s 3 nights before we go on this trip that I am mega excited about. That means 2 full days of pondering how to tackle the issue of packing appropriately and a final scramble on Thursday night by which time I will have had far too much time to consider every possible scenario and will simply attempt to pack the entire contents of my wardrobe into my backpack, with at least 3 pairs of boots, every pair of leggings I own (just in case of what I don’t know but I’ll feel better if I have them all with me) and 3 books for the 2 hour plane journey (just in case me and my best mate run out of stuff to talk about).
Perhaps it would be more therapeutic to stay at home.
N.B I went on this trip in 2012; and am pleased to report that I spent the entire trip in a single pair of boots, one jacket, and a very limited range of highly practical leggings / jumper type combos which were not high fashion, but I did manage to stay alive and not die of frostbite over the course of the trip. And yes, everyone else managed to look cool and stay warm. And yes, I did only use around 10 percent of the clothes that I had packed, and didn’t read at any point over the trip, so the books were a pointless weight too. And no, I have not since improved my ability to pack effectively for a holiday.