Here's the dream packing scenario for International Travel: Kicky, sophisticated outfits that transition effortlessly from day to night with the simple addition of a silk scarf, heels, and hoop earrings. Sexy, silky undergarments and naughty lingerie for nighttime romps in upscale, luxurious hotel rooms. Perfect hair, jewelry coordinated to match every outfit, and I lose 5 pounds in a week because I'm so busy having a fabulous time weaving through foreign streets, carrying flowers and attracting the admiring glances of foreign men that I simply forget to eat.
Here's the reality of packing for International Travel: Long-sleeved cotton and linen clothing that is neither kicky nor sophisticated for traveling in a hot, Muslim country. Five scarves packed that I will never wear because the reality is I live in sweat pants and have no idea how to use an accessory to update an outfit. Bland beige and white underwear, all cotton and "full cut" so as to avoid frowned upon panty lines in said Muslim country and also because we've been warned to wear "breathable" undergarments to deal with the heat. (To this extent, Blair and I have both purchased quick-drying Ex-Officio travel underwear that can be washed out nightly and worn the next day so you can travel for months with only two pairs of underwear. Nothing says romance like his and her wicking underwear drying over the sink.)
I'm taking minimal jewelry because I don't want to keep up with it and it will probably be too hot to wear it anyway. Instead of fashionable heels I'm toting gym shoes and walking sandals that yes, I will even wear with long skirts because I'm out of my twenties and the universal truth that comfort is more important than looking good has been revealed to me.
And losing 5 pounds? I'm toting a full month's worth of nuts, raisins, granola bars, oatmeal, and peanut-butter crackers with me, theoretically so I'll have snacks for the trip in case I'm hungry between meals but which in reality will probably all be eaten before the plane ever lands.
Women in the movies who travel and look glamorous don't have to deal with the reality of airline travel where you're cavity searched if you attempt to bring on a NORMAL sized jar of lotion so your poor dehydrated skin has a chance to look good for at least one day on your trip. I will give up the lotion, but touch my eye-creme for wrinkles and I will single-handedly take down the entire airport. We all have our limits.
As you can tell, packing for Egypt has begun. More to follow.