18 December 2012


I don’t have many opportunities to wear flannel pajamas in Singapore. In the last year I have only worn them twice – once on holiday in Sydney’s winter season when the temperatures were around 8 C / 46 F and once for girls’ night in.

As Paul and I prepared for our annual trip to America, I knew this would be an excellent opportunity to pack all of my favorite cold-weather clothes, including the coveted pink flannel pajamas. I filled the bed in the spare bedroom with every possible contender: light-weight yet still warm jackets, sweaters, long-sleeved Ts and button-down shirts, zip-up hoodies and the favorite Nantucket hooded sweatshirt, jeans, sweatpants, leggings, socks – lots of socks – and some scarves that have been sitting in a drawer for at least a year, maybe two.

Once the laundry was done and everything was stacked on the bed, I was presented with the challenge: fit as much as possible into one suitcase and one carry on. Right.

I thought about what I would wear and what I would likely not wear while in D.C., Ohio and Florida. I considered the footwear options and confirmed what I had waiting for me stateside. I paired outfits and threw in some randoms. I ensured that I had enough pajamas for four days with my friends. And then, I smushed.

I flattened everything possible and stacked and folded and rolled and placed items in whatever holes I could find. And, somehow, I got almost everything. The freakout only occurred in the final hour when I knew I had some odd-shaped things and pretty much nowhere to put them. The handbag was the kicker.

The options were weighed: Put everything into my giant Cole Haan handbag with many pockets, dividers and stuff holders and carry around one heavy handbag or put everything into one nice-sized tote bag, which would be easier and more organized but would leave me without a handbag until I opened my new one Christmas day. I opted for the former and shoved everything inside.


Paul joined me en route to the airport and helped me all the way to security. We said our good-byes, knowing we would see each other in five days’ time, and I headed off toward the gate. Twenty-four hours and a million and a half miles later, I would be in D.C. with my friends. At least, that’s what I thought. Little did I know that a new adventure awaited me at the layover location. 

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