This might sound silly, but creating Distant Francophile has brought all sorts of artistic joy into our lives. We spend way more time than you might imagine discussing topics and the associated photographs that might be worth sharing.
But the whole creative process is not my favourite part of Distant Francophile. In fact, it doesn’t even come close.
My favourite aspect of Distant Francophile is the fabulous community of people who take the time to read, comment on and email us about the thoughts we share. I’m perpetually delighted by the relationships I’ve built through Distant Francophile, both in person and on-line.
And while it doesn’t happen often, I love it when I get the chance to have readers contribute their French experiences to Distant Francophile. I’m always excited about how much I learn from the francophile community – and I hope you find it interesting too.
Over a long period of time, I’ve been lucky enough to build up a relationship with Distant Francophile reader and fellow traveller Claire. Claire recently headed to France (and other parts of Europe) – and I travelled along with her via her entertaining Instagram account.
I was particularly interested in the research she did on macarons – it was enlightening!
When Claire touched base on her return to Australia, I was quick to ask if she would be willing to write about her experiences – any of them – and I’m so happy she said yes!
Thank you so much for sharing this story Claire.
Multiples Of Two Packing Plan
A recent four week trip to Paris, Bordeaux, Bern and Vienna gave me the opportunity to pack my own travel capsule wardrobe. I thought, I planned, I read blogs.
The last time we had travelled to Europe, it had been during December so there was no need to try and guess the weather. On this visit, it was mid April and I’d been watching the weather forecasts and considering last year’s temperatures, noticing temperature ranges from 13 to 30 degrees celsius. As it turned out, the days were colder than expected, with the average temperature just 12 degrees celsius. We did have a few days in Bordeaux in where the temperature reached the mid 20’s.
Before we left, the clothes went on the bed.
I matched, cross matched, checked that each item coordinated with others and that scarves pulled outfits together. Then I put back a third and felt I was left with a workable wardrobe.
We didn’t take carry on, my mother, who I travelled with, just doesn’t do that, and half our cases were filled with gifts for family in Frankfurt. My case didn’t weigh over 20kg full and I was able to lift it on and off trains. I was also pleased to have the room to indulge in some souvenirs; salt, soap and chocolate being my weaknesses.
But back to my wardrobe…
I was walking home from the Métro, thinking about my clothes (as you do) and I was annoyed and frustrated with myself. I had too many clothes, and as they were clothes that I wore everyday at home, I couldn’t get rid of them.
It was at that moment, thinking back to our previous but shorter trip, that I made up my Multiples Of Two Packing Plan.
- Two pairs of pants – I’m not a skirt / dress wearer. One pair soft black, the other will be jeans.
- Two cardigans or jumpers.
- Two scarves to coordinate.
- 2 pairs of shoes – both flat with good support for walking.
- 4 t-shirts or tops – short or long sleeved depending on the weather (plain, some with collars)
- Two sleeveless vests for layering under the t-shirts
- Underwear (2 bras, 4 knickers), pajamas, fold up slippers and 4 pairs of socks.
- Soft pants – I always take a pair of yoga style pants to wear when we get back to our accommodation, they are comfortable to relax in and this gives the others a chance to air.
- Coat, hat and gloves
Last time I took silk thermals and wore them only once. They take next to no room so on future trips I’ll take the top.
By wearing the bulkier clothes and boots, I will have more than enough clothes and what I do take will fit easily into a carry-on bag!!
Thanks again for guest posting on Distant Francophile Claire – I am so grateful to you for sharing your story, the lesson you learned and your fabulous packing tips.
Until next time – au revoir.
Photographs courtesy of Claire Collins 2016.