If there’s one thing I learned from traveling, it’s that my common sense is sometimes lacking. I’ve decided to start up a little segment so other people can learn from my mistakes. The first installment: comfort over style.
I consider myself a very smart individual. I’m not a genius, but I certainly believe I’m above average. (At least that’s what my 3rd grade teacher wrote on my report card.)
I also think I’m slightly fashion forward. I like to stick with what’s “in” and I do my best to look decent whenever I get the chance. When I’m on a trip, though, I typically pack my best.
I drum up the cutest outfits I can find, and if I’m not satisfied, I buy new clothes. I pack too many tops and bottoms with several pairs of shoes for no reason at all. I know I’m not going to where half the things I pack when I pack them, yet I do it anyway.
I pack strap sandals, my $1 Old Navy flip flops, and some Converses for good measure.
I pack several bikinis so I don’t have to wear the same one everyday.
I pack clothes and shoes that aren’t necessarily comfortable, but they’re stylish.
Who. The fuck. Cares?
I’ve learned over the course of my 24 years on this earth that comfort should always come before style on a trip.
Well, comfort should come first all the time, but I’m not here to preach about life in general.
I’m not saying you need to drop all fashion sense for the sake of being comfortable, but if you’re in pain after walking around for more than an hour, you should probably wear shoes that are a little more supportive.
Let’s be realistic for a second: what are the chances you will see any of these people on your trip ever again?
Why does it matter if someone thinks your shoes are basic? Who cares if a stranger thinks your dress looks like it was made from the pattern of your grandma’s couch?
You need to ask yourself if you will be comfortable. If you’re comfortable in a certain shirt, shoes, or bikini, then knock yourself out. But if you’ll be worried about your stomach showing just a little too much or about showing too much cleavage, do not pack it.
For years I’ve struggled with my weight. I’ve worried about my stomach and the way I look for as long as I can remember. For the first time in my life, I went shopping tonight for a bathing suit I would feel comfortable in in front of strangers.
I just got back from a trip in Key West and had an absolute blast. (See my insta for pics!) The problems? I felt uncomfortable wearing my bikini—even just in the yard with my cousins!—and my feet hurt at the end of every night.
I have terribly shaped feet to begin with, but I’m finally starting to shop for more supportive shoes. Sure, I’m still going to purchase something stylish, but I’m going to make sure I have enough support.
Tonight I purchased a bathing suit I would feel comfortable in when I go on a cruise to the Greek Islands this August. One pieces are making a comeback, so I can’t say I lost all style with this choice, but it felt a little strange shopping for one pieces rather than a bikini.
I’ve (sorta) given up on style and am shooting for comfort. I’m going on these trips to immerse myself in other people’s culture, take in the sights, and eat through each city, not to impress strangers.
I’m sure most people are traveling for the same reasons. Unless you’re only traveling for the Insta pics. Then in that case, forget everything I just said and only wear what your followers will like.
Anyway, 10, 15, or 20 years from now, you shouldn’t be looking at photos wondering what you were wearing. Style is constantly changing and developing.
If you do it right and have the right mindset, you won’t look at photos and think “Wow, why did I ever buy that outfit?”
You’ll look at photos and think “that place was amazing because of X, Y, and Z. I made some amazing memories on that trip.”
It’s so much more important to focus on the place you’re visiting than on the way you look.
So, next time you pack for vacation, double check your belongings and make sure you’ll be able to explore comfortably. That’s what really counts.