Last week I was battling a virus and one of the side effects was that I couldn't sleep. Coughing, congestion, and general malaise kept me awake a good part of the night. What can you do in the middle of the night? Watching TV was too stimulating, reading a book was too taxing, so low commitment browsing on Pinterest seemed to be the answer. That's where I found myself layers deep in travel related pins.
It started innocently enough (it always does...). On a recent trip I had over packed and found myself uncomfortably weighed down by my own luggage. I needed to figure out a better way to pack and I thought I would go to Pinterest for suggestions. This was a very practical topic to explore. Everyone can use a few good packing tips to make traveling easier. The search for packing tips led to pins about the advantage of rolling clothing (roll everything and layer it, no flat stacking!) and the miracle of using packing cubes. Do you have any idea how many things you can fit into a packing cube? It goes without saying that I ordered packing cubes- two sets, just in case!
Packing cubes led me to packing lists. I clearly can't be left to my own devices when it comes to deciding what to pack! What do I really need to put in those cubes for a 10 day trip? It helped to see suggested packing lists from professional travelers. They know how and where to cut corners, although I still can't see myself washing my socks and underwear in the hotel sink. This led to my new favorite topic of travel capsule wardrobes. This is the concept you can pack 10 carefully chosen items and turn them into 30 fashionable outfits. Are you kidding me? I love the idea of packing a flexible travel wardrobe! Mix and match wardrobes are endlessly fascinating to me! I just need to buy all of the items on the list because apparently I don't own any versatile clothing.
After doing copious amounts of research on travel wardrobes (both warm and cold climate trips because you never know), this made me feel confident enough to think I could now pack in a smaller suitcase. I started doing research on under the seat carry on suitcases and packable/collapsible backpacks. I have looked at the features and benefits of many varieties of each, can tell you the top rated ones, and have even watched multiple videos on the functionality of the under the seat bag. Both items are still in my cart waiting for my purchase. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit quite yet- do I need to do more research?!?
By the time I got to "how to pack for a 3 week trip in a handbag", I knew I had gone too far. I'm not going on a three week trip anytime soon and I can guarantee you that I will never be packing in a large purse/backpack! Was it the fever leading me down such an unrealistic path? Is there part of me that wishes I could be the kind of low maintenance person who could go on an exotic 3 week trip and only carry a purse? Maybe. Or is this the dark side of Pinterest that makes us think we can do and be anything we want if only we follow the advice, instruction, and guidance offered on a never ending stream of pins??
Pinterest has been a wonderful, but dangerous addition to my online world. I love the idea of saving tips and ideas in a digital format. Whoever thought of this idea is a genius! Pinning and creating boards is so much easier than clipping stories from magazines and keeping them in various paper folders. I have 61 boards, 2700 pins, and counting. There is a never ending supply of information on almost every topic you can think of-hair styles, gardening, clothing, recipes, exercising, quotes, home decor, advice, organization (to name a few)- that's the wonderful part. The dangerous part is knowing what to do with all of that information, how to feel about it, and how to have the discipline to STOP searching! I hate to think of the collective time lost by people falling into the deep, dark hole of Pinterest!
I don't regret my sick time spent exploring the world of travel. I really did learn a lot and am excited to try some of the tips I read. It was an enjoyable and somewhat productive way to pass my non-sleeping hours. However, I remain on alert for the amount of time it is possible for me to spend during normal "waking" hours. My next obsession is right around the corner and I know Pinterest will be there happy to help me explore!