Bordeaux And The Hilarious Failure Of Minimalist Packing

Lisa 1 HN

How did I end up, in Bordeaux, impulse buying a new pair of jeans, that were too big for me you ask? After all my proclamations of minimalism…

We headed to Bordeaux for a week in a friend’s car. I was excited because I thought it would be the perfect rehearsal for going to Paris in a couple of weeks, where I will be dealing with a stroller, suitcase and Ergo baby carrier on my own. (Side note my husband had to fly back to Australia for a conference and we were meeting him in Paris). I ended up taking a larger suitcase than I want for Paris because I packed towels for the lake. But the most important thing is is that it was not full! I packed less for me and the girls than I ever have before. I checked the forecast and it was predicted to be hot, this was confirmed by our friend Monsieur P who said that it is always hot in Bordeaux. If I had any reservations they were put to rest but the 5.5 hr drive in 35 degree heat with out air conditioning. So I was feeling confident in my week of clothing choices ahead, plus there would be a washing machine.

Lisa 3 HN

Well I could not have been more wrong. Oh black skinny jeans and cardigan that I put back in my cupboard at the last minute, how I missed you. Who would have predicted that our very first day, and the following few days, it would be pouring with rain and not go over 17 degrees? Not me. I had travelled in my new beloved Isabel Marant pants and planned that they would fulfill any need I would have for pants. However after said 5.5 hours in 35 degrees the last thing I wanted to do was wear them again, without washing. Lessons learned:

  • Always pack a just in case outfit that isn’t your travel outfit
  • Don’t buy jeans with out trying them on.
  • Bring a belt with you.
  • Don’t pack only one pair of shoes for kids, because it’s likely to rain and they will jump in puddles.

I ended up running around Bordeaux, in the pouring rain, trying to find a pair of pants to wear. I had the baby strapped to me in the Ergo, and my eldest feeling unwell, patiently waiting in a cafe. All I wanted was a pair of high waisted black skinny jeans because i’ve been wanting a pair for awhile and I knew I would probably get a bit of wear out of them. But there were none in Zara and the three other stores I ran though. I could find nothing that wasn’t ripped, or required trying on. I ended up getting a pair of cigarette style jeans which are mean to be not super tight. I figured that way it wouldn’t matter. But again I was wrong. They are slightly too big in the waist. Not terrible, but enough that I resorted to tying them up at the back with a piece  of rope. Because naturally I hadn’t packed the unnecessary belt.

Lisa 2 HN

-This was actually written 3 months ago in August
-Sadly I have never worn these jeans again, I really don’t like them and hopefully I can give them away to someone who will appreciate them


Packing for 8 Months


What does a maximalist pack, into half a suitcase, when moving overseas for 8 months? This was the question i asked myself when my husband and i decided to pack up, with our two daughters, aged 3 and 0, and move to France. I am someone who enjoys having a large and varied wardrobe, so the thought was a bit daunting. However I was also a bit excited about being  forced to live with a minimalist  wardrobe. I love reading blogs of women who live with a minimalist wardrobe, or a capsule wardrobe. It’s something that I’m almost certain, in my everyday life, I would never do this. I enjoy options. To decide what to pack I turned to trusty Google and found this post by apairandaspare on the ideal number of items to pack for carry on luggage, she calls it the 5,4,3,2,1 guide: 5 tops 4 bottoms 3 dresses 3 shoes 2 swimsuits 2 bags 1 hat watch sunnies I decided to double it as we will be there during winter and summer. I did the same for both my girls. I did some tweaking, there is no way I will need 4 swimsuits. Everything fitted into our two suitcases. Although we are allowed to take 3 suitcases I wanted to have enough space to bring home some purchases. My husband and I spent our final evening at home packing, and drinking the last of our wedding champagne.

I’m an Australian mum living in France. In July 2015 my husband and I packed up our lives and, with our two daughters, moved to France to study French and experience a different style of life. Welcome to our adventures