Culture

Growing up a nomad, I always had a “go” bag ready for spontaneity, and possible (yet fashionable) zombie apocalypse

I travel a ton for work. Next week will be my third week in a row if back to back trips. I have basically lived out of a backpack the last few weeks. My specialty are clothes that do not need ironing. I always wear a dress on business trips so it is fairly easy to roll those up into a backpack. I hate checking luggage. Now, the shoes, well let me just state I am lucky that I a am a small show size. Otherwise, I am not too sure how I would fit my usual range of 4 to 5 shoes a trip. I readily admit I’m a shoeholic. The thing is shoes can make or break an outfit, especially for a business woman. As such, I have my backpack almost always ready for a business trip.

Even before my adventure in “business tripping” started, I was ready for completely spontaneous trips. From a young age, I have been a bit of a nomad. By the age of thirteen, I was ostensibly on my own. I didn’t have much with me when I attended boarding school nor did I have much with me when I lived in Spain. I was always prepared to leave. I could readily gather my things and run. Now, where I planned or had to run to, I had no idea.

I may have watched too many end-of-the-world movies growing up. Even now when I watch the Walking Dead or other such apocalypse, I look about my home quickly sizing up what I would take with me if I only had five minutes to gather my stuff. I am sure a psychoanalyst would have a field day with my scenarios and items list. Thus, I will not share those. I will note that although I love each and every one of my hundreds of shoes, if forced I can choose three to take with me in the event of armageddon. And, unlike horror films, I will quickly out on my sneakers putting my heels into the go bag. Yes, I will still take at least one pair of heels as a girl still needs to glam it up in a zombie-filled world. Interestingly, in my go bag, even though I typically do not wear makeup on a daily basis, there are some makeup essentials. The apocalypse go-bag has foundation to cover up the fight scars and dark circles, blush to give the appearance of being healthy or sickly depending on the need and lipstick just because. Now that I think about it, I should carry in there a small bottle of bleach. Do they make those in carry-on 3oz sizes?

Being thusly prepared has allowed me to go on spontaneous trips. While I have a “go” bag at home, I also have a lot of important items in my everyday handbag which is usually a small-sized le sport sac cross-shoulder bag. They readily stretch so that you can carry a multitude of items, including heels, makeup and pepper spray. On one night many, many years ago we were out partying in DC which can be a fun scene. However, things do close earlier than in New York. We were hyped up, young and restless. We were greedy and didn’t want the party to end. We didn’t know when to say when. Then it hit us like a meteor shower. We would take the party to Atlantic City. Yes, the Atlantic City in New Jersey which was a couple of hours away. Why not?

Other than loose change, there was nothing to lose. We hopped into a car, called up a few friends, banged on a few doors, grabbed some people by the hair and hit the highway! I barely recall the drive there. I do remember being in a dark, smoky, seedy place with hundreds of slot machines and watered-down screwdrivers. I know that I gambled away the coins that were in my purse. I recall heading over to the restroom as we were getting ready to head back down to DC. I placed my purse on the counter and brushed my teeth, combed my hair, pinned my hair back, placed some light makeup on to freshen up my look and changed my underwear and shoes. No, I never went home before the roadtrip. I just happened to have all those things in my purse that was stretchable. As we headed back on the highway, not so full of zest anymore, everyone but me was a bit of a wreck. They were showing a bit of wear and tear from the night’s activities. I was able to go straight to work without missing a beat, literally.

Such an outing reaffirmed my life-long need to always be prepared. It could be be an apocalypse, a casino run or just a random overnight trip to the city that never sleeps. I used to walk to work in DC all the time. I often carried a backpack filled with little things to make the walk and eventual workday more pleasant. That day, my boyfriend and I got off work a little early and we wanted to do something fun. We got in the car and drove to New York City. We randomly called a hotel our finger landed on and we booked a hotel room. We drive through the NYC evening madness, dropped off the car and partied. Luckily, I also had a set of toiletry essentials and such in my bag. We were free, with not a care in the world. We had each other and our backpacks. He too understood the need to have a ready-set backpack for any eventuality be it a zombie apocalypse or a random, spontaneously done trek to the city that never sleeps. So it was then and so it is now.

Inspired by the daily prompt of lets go crazy

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17 replies »

  1. Love the ‘Ready bag’ idea. My partner(a shoeholic) and I once took a mystery flight holiday . We packed a bag and landed in various Australian State Capitals. We got so good at it that we used to leave our bag at the hotel of one city, fly to other cities throughout the day and only by chance arrive back to our baggage. We saw quite a few zombies on those trips.B

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  2. Love the idea of spontaneity, but I could never pull of the the ‘ready bag’. I constantly overpack for every trip I go on. Steamer trunks fit my persona more…LOL.

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