I have wanted to travel since I was a little girl. I would call up the airlines and ask them how much to fly from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angles, California (or a million other places). I am so sorry to every single person that spent all of that time on the phone with me as I was dreaming up where to go and how I would pay for it!
Creating adventures for myself and our family is still one of my top priorities and what we save for. I also want you to know that there have been many times in our life that by booking a trip we said no to so much to make it happen. Sometimes you just have to say yes to see what you are now willing to say no to.
Over the past 15 years of our business I have had the biggest honor and privilege of traveling with many of you all over the US and abroad. I have dreamed with you in Monet’s garden, picnicked at the Eiffel Tower, toasted each other as we were sailing into Budapest, were present sketching in more than I can count little and big chapels all over the world, wandered flea markets, had the best conversations at cafes, have kayaked with you along Lake Como, have ridden bikes through vineyards and past windmills and have woken up early on a foggy Amsterdam morning to witness the brilliance of Van Gogh. This life of making art has given me adventures I had only dreamed of.
One of the most common questions I get when I am traveling is about what clothes and art supplies do I pack. Today I will share what clothes and necessities I pack.
Traveling (when I am not teaching) is a huge opportunity for me to read more (and I am already a big reader). I usually pack a few books for each week we are gone. Jack and Maddy are the same way and our luggage weight often shows that! I always have a book on me. There are so many moments when you want to stop at a garden, cafe or just have a moment to rest that a book is so much more rewarding than own phones.
My favorite part of traveling is living life the best I can where we are at. That will mean walking to the market, picking up fresh flowers, reading at a cafe, making art out and about and even having a picnic. I recommend bringing a basket or bag with you that allows you to carry whatever you need as you are enjoying your adventures. I always welcome picnics, reading outside and of course making art that I like to include a thin blanket into my basket that can be spread out on the ground. I have found that Turkish towels make for the perfect travel blanket. I always pack an umbrella and if it is pretty that makes it even better. This basket also can double as your picnic basket wherever you go. I love to include the blanket mentioned above, a few vintage French linens that I pack with me (yes, I love pretty things that much), a small wooden board for meats and cheeses and even one pretty little knife. The rest I find wherever we are like glasses from where we are staying, a good bottle of wine, food from the local deli etc. I am packing to be open to experiences. Now, can’t you just imagine your local lunch in the garden, face to the sun, art supplies or books around you and just living?
Whether to sketch, make a shopping list, write out my thoughts of more I always have a pencil and notebook with me. I am a paper and pencil girl. Just another thing to put in your basket!
Unless I am hiking I am probably wearing my slip on Vans. I wear them with shorts, skirts and dresses and I can walk all over in them. The thing that I notice when we are traveling out of the country is that I will see women wearing a long flowy dress and then she will be comfortable in cute tennis shoes. I love this and I have tried to implement this more and more. I leave the fancy shoes at home and pack for walking everywhere (and being comfortable).
Here I am talking about what to pack and I haven’t even gotten to the clothes. I always pack a hat, dresses that are comfortable and can be layered to go from day to night and I bring a crossbody bag. I have a color palette in my clothes where everything can go with each other and things can be worn multiple times before being washed. I also have a cardigan and blazer for the evenings. I guess I added clothes for last because there are a lot of things I pack before the clothes to add to the experience. I want to feel like I experienced an area. Where do the locals go for a cappuccino in the morning and cocktails at night? What park is the perfect spot to read and eat our lunch? My favorite thing is to pick up my groceries, fresh flowers and make our temporary home feel homey. When I know the names of some of the locals before I leave that fills my heart up! I made a first connection and can’t wait to come back. So, of course I want to pack the right clothes but I want to get a taste of a place by LIVING there even if it is only for a few days or weeks.
I will keep adding to THIS list and will include little things when I can think of them that are travel musts.
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Such a useful list and OMG reading this just makes me want to pack a bag and GO!!!
I love that it makes you feel like that!
I’m going abroad in June (2023) for the first time in my life (at age 70!) and I have been very anxious about trying to travel “light” (I’ve never been a less is more” person) LOL. But YOUR list has helped me with this process tremendously!! Especially since my desire is to bring sketchbook & supplies and hopefully find lots of time to draw til I drop as my “sisters-to-Sicily” group enjoys the food, culture and touristy spots. Thanks for sharing, Jeanne 💕
That makes me SO happy!
Such good info. Thank you!!
Love this post so much. Brings me back to our cruise and coming into Budapest. You made everything so magical Jeanne.❤️ What is the Le Labo box? A notebook or perfume?
Coming into Budapest was sooo special. That is a Le Labo Journal.