Today, first and foremost, I have a confession to make.
Many of us have seen the Lizzie McGuire Movie. For those of you who haven’t seen this 2003 cinema masterpiece it’s definitely worth a watch if you’re feeling in the mood for a nice light-hearted adventure film starring a young, but lovely Hillary Duff trying to maneuver her way through typical teenage problems while on a study abroad trip in Italy. Okay, maybe that description won’t temp all of you, but please bear with me…
One of the culminating scenes of the movie features Lizzie McGuire’s best frenemy, Kate, who screams “Lizzie McGuire…YOU ARE AN OUTFIT REPEATER!” in front of the entire school at graduation (*gasp*). For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this egregious social faux pas, outfit repeating is the act of re-wearing an outfit within a time-frame that others might actively recall the previous occasion on which you wore that specific outfit. “Ah,” you might be thinking, “so Lizzie rewore and outfit…Whats’ the big deal?” Or perhaps you’re now wondering what connection I’m about to make.
Friends, I would like to say that my name is Alexis Holzmann and I have become an outfit repeater, just like Lizzie McGuire. I just spent four days walking around the city of Melbourne on a solo weekend adventure and to be entirely truthful, I wore pretty much the same outfit for the entire time [exhibit A is listed below for your viewing pleasure]. My trip was initially only going to be three days (so four days might be pushing it for the same outfit), but I did have a rationale for outfit repeating. By bringing a few versatile clothing pieces and a pair of pj’s that folded down to nothing I was able to go on a four day adventure with only one backpack, one small purse, and one (always heavier than I remember) camera.
Without a large suitcase or bag I was able to check into and out of hotels and hostels at my own whim. I knew that I had to check out of my hotel this morning before 10 AM. In spite of my resourcefulness I didn’t have many options for storing a ton of stuff. Best possible solution? Only bring things that I could reasonably carry around over the course of a busy day in a city. With that being said I went to multiple museums, cafe’s, and cliche tourist spots today while simultaneously carrying everything that I had brought into Melbourne on my back.
Before anyone judges I would just like to further make the case for traveling light. Traveling light afforded me the opportunity to collect things that didn’t have to be put into a shopping bag. I connected with others and formed friendships, even if only fleeting or limited in their scope. I collected ticket stubs in my jacket pocket to use in a scrapbook or shadowbox at some point in the future. AND, best of all, I filled up my belly with all sorts of delicious food and hot drinks (I’m talking tea AND coffee at some places)!
Traveling light meant that I tried my absolute hardest to not be weighed down physically by my personal belongings or mentally by stress, anxiety, and unnecessary pressure. A light pack made the first goal relatively easy; however, the second portion still remained elusive for me by the second day of this mini-adventure. In the midst of a mild panic about a late tour bus I came to a wonderful realization. At a certain point whether or not the tour bus came to pick me up (it eventually did, although it was 25 minutes late) I would still find a way to have an amazing time in a city that really resonated with my personality. Therefore, the tight sense of worry in my chest and the panicked feeling visible on my scrunched up face was completely unwarranted.
Regardless of whether or not you plan to become an outfit repeater like me and Lizzie, traveling light is a great way to prevent sore shoulders and to maintain a present, non-judgmental attitude towards yourself in a new situation and place. At the same time, be sure to bring some perfume or cologne so your outfit repeating doesn’t scare away potential friends!