How to Pack for a Two-Week Vacation with Only a Carry-On

A carry-on-size suitcase, tote bag, and water bottle - all you need for your vacation

In response to my last post, several people expressed surprise at my ability to pack for an international vacation with only a carry-on suitcase. As a follow-up, I thought I’d share some details about how I pack. Most of my longer trips have been in the summer, and some of these tips apply best to warm-weather travel, but others are useful year-round.

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Snapshot: May 27, 2017

Black and white photo of Alexis

In this occasional series, I’ll share what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking, and doing.

What I’m Reading:

What I’m Watching: Master of None, Season 2

What I’m Listening To: Modern Love, “A Slow Fade to Black

Current Guilty Pleasure: ice cream (most recently from Marble Slab)

Where I’ve Been Recently: Chattanooga, TN

What I’m Looking Forward To: My trip to Greece later this summer!

Latest Personal Project: Learning Greek (with the help of DuoLingo, Collins, and my Greek husband, who’s been a helpful and patient tutor)

Recent Moment of Joy: Reconnecting with a former colleague from a past job and learning that we have more in common than I’d realized

Currently Inspired By: My friend M, who fought through a painful foot injury to complete her third half-Ironman last weekend. She ran her first 5k just a couple of years ago. Way to go, M!

Grateful For: A beautiful, sunny day after a long rainy spell

Have a lovely weekend!

Peace,

Alexis

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

A Letter to My Teenage Self on High School Graduation

Snapshot of a group of girls smiling for the camera in their graduation gowns
Carlisle High School graduation, 2002. Thanks for the photo, Vi!

Congratulations on making it through high school!  I know there was never any real doubt that you would graduate, but you should celebrate anyway.  No, you aren’t as emotional as many of the other girls, who are crying about leaving their best friends, singing Vitamin C’s graduation song, and talking about how life will never be the same again.  You’re ready to move on to bigger and better things.  But someday, even though you’d never want to relive it, you’ll be a little nostalgic about your high school experience.  So you should go to the graduation parties, have fun at senior beach week, and try to appreciate this moment — because it’s true, your life never will be the same again.

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Life Lessons from an Easter Egg Hunt

The author as a child posing with an inflatable Easter Bunny

One of my earliest childhood memories is of an Easter egg hunt that my dad’s company hosted when I was about three.  On a sunny Saturday morning, the employees’ young children gathered in front of a building facing a big lawn where plastic eggs had been scattered.  Someone said go, and a mob of older children sprinted onto the grass, grabbing eggs and shoving them into plastic bags.  I was younger than most of the kids and wasn’t entirely sure what was happening.  The eggs hadn’t been hidden well; it wasn’t a hunt so much as a race.  My little legs couldn’t run very fast, and it seemed like every time my searching eyes spotted a brightly colored piece of plastic, someone else got to it before I did.  Within a few minutes, all of the eggs had been captured.  I had one lonely egg in my clear plastic bag.

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1991

Me with my mom and dad, sitting in front of our Christmas tree when I was about eight

I remember when my mom drove home from work in tears from the pain, vomiting in the car. I don’t remember exactly what happened next. She may have gone to the emergency room — maybe our neighbor watched me that evening — or she may have toughed it out and went to the doctor the next day. My mom was tough like that.

I wasn’t privy to all the conversations. I knew she was sick. I didn’t have a name for it at first. I don’t remember the treatments, only the hospital. My best friend and I went to visit her after her surgery. We had drawn pictures for her. I think mine had a rainbow, and some hearts. She must have been gone from our house for a few days — I remember missing her.

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