When you read this I will be in Thailand. THAILAND.
I’ve never been to Thailand before so when I had an email a few weeks ago from Tourism Thailand asking, “hey, fancy week in our beautiful country?” I said nothing but HELL TO THE YES. A trip to Malaysia with my parents 7 years ago still goes down in history as the best holiday EVER so I obviously jumped on the chance to go back to Asia. Because THAILAND.
And then I needed a new passport which took forever (translation: 2.5 weeks), was away from the babies for a week and the chicken pox happened and it was so hard when I left them on Thursday. Elfie wept and wept as I walked out the door and Hux spent the day asking if he could come on my trip and ugh, those beauties.
But sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and in the interest of expanding my mind this week I have to take a trip to Thailand and come back a well-rounded, cultured and suntanned individual. They will adore the week with their grandparents and, you know what, spending time away from the kids when I’m not at home is about 80% easier than when I’m able to go into their bedroom and sniff their pillows (it happens, you get me).
Tourism Thailand are taking a small group of fashion designers and media (that’ll be me then) on a cultural journey, starting in Bangkok and going all the way up to North East Thailand, to Surin. We’re going on ‘The Silk Trail’ – discovering traditional Thai crafts including silk weaving and dyeing, visiting a Handicrafts village and seeing everything this beautiful region has to offer. It’s going to be fantastic and you can follow along over on Instagram and Twitter; we’ll be using the hashtags #DiscoverThainess and #ThaiAcademy3 (sorry in advance for the spam).
But northern Thailand means domestic flights, and domestic flights means a luggage limit of 15kg. I am the girl who couldn’t take less than seven pairs of shoes for three days in Amsterdam so packing light is something I’ve literally never achieved. But by god, this time I think I’ve got it.
I HATE packing, hate it. Nothing more boring than packing. But this time I’ve worked really hard on it; rather than chucking everything I own in a suitcase and hoping for the best I’ve decided to plan, plan, plan. I’ve stuck to a palette of mostly grey, blue, white and black so that everything matches, with colour from my new cross-body bag (John Lewis – the perfect size for phone/passport/money), some necklaces and a SCRUNCHIE (I’ll try everything once).
Enjoy your guided tour around my suitcase:
3x short dresses – mine are from GAP, Billabong and a great tie-dye number from ASOS. The weather is going to get up to 38 degrees when we’re there and with all the sightseeing we’ll be doing I think I’ll need dresses that are comfy.
LBD – Ted Baker. For anything formal.
2x long dresses – for evenings or when I need to cover up more. Another tie-dye one from Primark and this current season lace detail maxidress from Forever 21.
2x jean shorts – There’s nothing I like more than a pair of denim shorts, and both of mine have been made by ex-favourite pairs of jeans, one Levis and one GAP. The secret is to use a pair that are a couple of sizes too big. Max comfort.
Vest tops – I have multiple versions from Zara, H&M, Aubin & Wills and American Apparel. Who doesn’t need a million vest tops?
Tshirts – One ‘boyfriend’ style (ASOS), one stripey top from H&M and a breton stripe from Boden because nobody does breton better.
Hat – obvs. This is from M&S men’s section.
Shoes – THREE PAIRS!! OK, four, as I’m wearing one. Birkinstocks and Havaianas, espadrilles as we’re visiting a couple of areas that require covered feet and my favourite go-with-everything wedges.
Trousers – I got these amazing ‘holiday trousers’ from Zara (my name, not theirs) and I love them. They’ll do me for night and evening.
Beauty-wise I’ve again gone really pared-down; miniature shampoo and conditioner (Soap and Glory is my favourite for these), and The Body Shop’s serum-in-oil and Vitamin E cream that will do me for morning and evening. A small bottle of Kiehl’s moisturiser to act as aftersun, Clinique moisturiser for my hand luggage and Bumble & Bumble’s sea salt spray to control my curly hair (I’ve left my GHD’s at home. PROUD). For make-up I’m going really simple with a Clinique foundation and concealer, bronzer, chubby eye stick, BeneFit’s They’re Real mascara, a brown eyeshadow, Clinique blusher, Rimmel eyebrow pencil and NARS lipstick.
After all this I literally felt like I might have a nervous breakdown but all this came to 11.6KG. BOOM! I’ve never gotten below 20 so for me this is momentous.
Packing: stressful or walk in the (holiday) park?