It’s been four months since we left the States. Traveling the pristine landscapes of the North and South Islands of New Zealand and the beaches of Australia has been surreal. For a country with such a fairly small footprint in the world when it comes to landmass, New Zealand has afforded me the ability to experience unbelievable beaches, coastal views, mountains that will dwarf your existence and a helicopter ride to witness a glacier all in one country. As if that wasn’t enough, Australia didn’t disappoint as schools of neon-coloured fish circled our waists when we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef.
Up until this point, after traveling to destinations with contrasting climates from a geothermal beach to the snow-capped Alps, I was sure that I was going to run out of clothing options. Before leaving the US, I downsized over half of my wardrobe by auctioning designer pieces at deeply discounted prices. I went from a walk-in closet teeming with floor length gowns, fur coats (yes, plural), barely worn studded thigh-high boots, cocktail dresses, and an abundance of skirts, shoes and accessories to one rolling suitcase. ONE. Armed with a handful of clothing to last several years, including one pair of jeans and three pairs of shoes, this abbreviated wardrobe would have sufficed for a vacation getaway in another life time.
But lately I’ve been feeling frumpy. Like the visual language of my over-sized hoodie has been speaking an unfamiliar dialect that no one wants to understand. Like the time I was grinning under a cotton candy sunset at the thought of being half way across the world in Australia and my clothes announced to the tourist beside me that I looked disheveled…awkward…uncoordinated all before I could come to my own defense.
For the typical long-term traveler this wouldn’t be a problem in itself. In fact, a travel blogger once wrote ‘travel is not a fashion show’ albeit the ratio of carefully crafted jet-setting editorials and countless “how to travel in style” content may prove otherwise. Despite some truth to the blogger’s words, I may need to point out one small detail: I am a personal style blogger. I am a personal style blogger with experience as a wardrobe stylist who happens to share the same alumni affiliation with the likes of Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, Calvin Klein and many others.
But if the intent of travel is to immerse ourselves in cultural experiences and to live fearless enough to challenge our perceptions, then taking a glamorous photo to conjure exclusivity would be a disservice. My clothes will wax poetic about the time I freestyled at the base of Lake Pukaki. Style will reflect the relationship between myself and the clothes that I have lived in. Because after all, basic is beautiful.
The post How long-term travel almost cramped my style in a jet-setting paradise was first shown on Physical Canvas.
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