Sunday, 6 January 2019

Have Love Will Travel - Packing For India

My happy birthday to me dress hasn't featured on my blog before. I wear it loads but always have so much fun when I do that I never remember to take a photo so here she is in all her Afghan glory, off for Sunday brunch at Wetherspoons, a pre-India get together with friends. Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

My trusty travel bag - bought in 1999.

Talking of India (and when don't I?) what a chore this year's travel packing has proved to be, I seem to have been at it for weeks. Starting in the north where it's still very much the depths of winter and finishing in the tropical paradise that is South Goa, I've not only had to pack with the weather in mind but I've had to consider cultural sensitivities for when we venture off the beaten track and also bear in mind the weight of my luggage - all internal flights within India have an allowance of just 15kg and I certainly don't want to be hauling a massive bag of stuff along with me on trains, tuk tuks and buses.

Clockwise from top left: Vintage Phool maxi; Chiffon kimono sleeve kaftan; Vintage Adini maxi; Crochet top; Custom-made block printed maxi; Vintage Third Eye wrap skirt; Embroidered off-the-shoulder top; Handmade (by me) gypsy top; Black cotton tiered maxi skirt; Phool quilted jacket; Zip-up bustier top

Anyway, it's finally done and Jon's padlocked the bags so there's no sneaking any extras in now.

For the first couple of weeks travelling around the north I'll be living in these three cotton maxi dresses topped with my vintage Phool quilted jacket. I'll fly in the red block-printed dress I had made at a tailor's shop in Goa last year - minus the belt which is packed away in my bag - what with my prosthetic hip and all my rings it's just another faff on the way through the X ray machine.

 Underneath I'll be wearing these crepe soled suede boots by Jones the Bootmaker which I found in a charity shop a couple of days after I bought the black Kurt Geiger boots I was originally intending to take. These are a lot lighter and I'm hoping that the crepe sole (along with my orthopaedic insoles) will be easier on my hip if it decides to have a moment.  Packed, but not photographed, is a pair of leggings, a jersey bodysuit, a woollen hat and some alpaca wrist warmers - just in case.

The spice coloured scarf at the bottom of the pile (the twin of the green Gujarati one Jon wears) and the vintage silk one in the centre will provide a bit of extra warmth if necessary. The huge fringed lurex scarf and the sarong won't see the light of day until we get to Goa.

I was going to take the leather bag I'd recently bought from a charity shop but decided to go with my tatty old sweat-stained Indian favourite instead. 

My 50p sunhat for Goa.

A couple of pairs of buffalo leather chappals which I bought in Mumbai last year. I don't expect them to be worn until I reach Goa.

Excuse the grumpy face. I bought this chiffon maxi from one of my favourite boutiques in Mumbai last year for a whopping £7. I'll wear this to the beach.

A couple of bikinis.

The bling!  Four pairs of earrings, my silver Afghan hoops, some Bollywood chandeliers, tasseled birthday beauties from Curtise and my tribal earrings from Rajasthan via Walthamstow (which I'll wear to travel in).

Necklaces - Sponge coral beads, Lamani coin neck piece, two "antique style" pendants and a Gujarati tribal necklace. I'll put the bangles on once I pass through departures, the armlets will stay in my bag until Goa. You've seen my rings already, I rarely take them off.

I'll spare you the list of toiletries as I pack the same every year. Other stuff we take includes our fully loaded E readers, a cotton sleeping bag, some vintage travel coat hangers, a torch, a penknife, the travel kettle, a large cotton throw for lying on the beach , the camera, sunglasses and reading glasses, a notebook and pen, an MP3 player & speakers and a guidebook. We've split our clothes and each bag weighs in at just under 13 kg.

So after last year's adventures in Gujarat, Goa and Mumbai where are we planning to visit next?

Who knows. We've got a bed booked for the first three nights and a flight to Goa a fortnight later and apart from that your guess is as good as ours. Let the adventures begin!

See you in February!


  1. I love to see what you’re packing, and your post-trip blogs are one of the highlights of my winter!
    Have a wonderful time!

  2. I was just wondering aloud to Jos whether you'd left already, and here you are! I have to say I am just a tiny bit envious. How fab it must be to escape the grey January days! I love seeing what you've packed, and I am a bit envious of your ability to travel light too. Anyway, you'll look fab in all your choices. You must be beyond excited by now! Jos and I are wishing you and Jon a blast of a time! xxx

  3. Have an awesome adventure! Can't wait to read all about it!


  4. excited, a little envious, curious - can't wait! Hurry up and come back so I can read all about it. I am interested to see the places you stay, trains you take, people you meet. Your bag looks super elegant and lightweight (apart from the household silver!) Love the maxi skirts.

  5. Have a fantastic time , I cant wait to see the photos xxx

  6. Looks like you are ready for fun!

    Travel safely, relax and enjoy!

    BTW, your bedroom makeover looks terrific!

  7. Hope you have another sensational trip Vix!

  8. Bon Voyage you two. Looking forward to the recap when you get back.

  9. I always love to read what you pack when you are travelling. I hope you both have a wonderful adventure and safe travels.

  10. Have a wonderful time Vix.

  11. The colour, print, ornamentation and design of your 'Happy Birthday To Me' dress are beautiful. The three dresses you rocked in in the fourth image are very pretty as well. Your hair looks gorgeous and I love the big round wire-rimmed tinted glasses. Best wishes for your upcoming adventures in Goa and the year ahead as well!

  12. I love your minimal yet fabulous travel wardrobe, Vix - so lovely! Have a wonderful holiday!

  13. I love seeing what you pack! It is such an exciting suitcase. Cannot wait to see where you go! You make me long to visit India in a way I haven't had before!

  14. Enjoy! I'm back myself in February but I have no idea where yet, possibly Bangalore. I bloody hope I get some time off this trip!!
    Cannot wait to hear all about your travels. xx

  15. Vix, I know it stresses you out but you are a pro at packing light. Have a wonderful time! X

  16. Having just come back from a 2 week trip, I was shocked and annoyed at the amount of luggage people had with them. We had 1 large trunk style rolling suitcase for both of us, under the 50 pound limit. Do 3 small children really need 3 suitcase? Wouldn't it be easier to have 1 larger suitcase for the 3 of them? Kids clothes are small. Anyway, enough of my complaining, enjoy you trip!

  17. Have a wonderful time - love your 'booked a bed for first three nights etc...'. That's the way to travel and not be a tourist!

  18. Love colorful purse, but I like color. On the bracelett one my friend has the back right piece and has also used it as hair piece.
    Safe Travels.
    Coffee is on

  19. Have fun on your trip!
    I always pack one of my pashmina shawls in case of cold- they are warm!
    Love those maxis!
    Travel safe!

  20. wish you a wonderful travel!!
    and hope the north india gear will be warm enough - when we were there around x-mas 2009 the temps dropped short to zero and a wore a fat wooly long cardigan and a light windproof coat topped with a pashmina..... and i´m not the one who runs cold.
    but you can always buy something there :-D

  21. Well done on packing light, it is a faf getting it all sorted but so worth it when you are travelling.Hope the weather in the north is kind.
    Enjoy your trip, safe travels. Look forward to your posts on your return. xx

  22. Happy adventuring! I look forward to seeing where you end up going.

  23. Happy holidays! Look forward to reading about your adventures when you're back. All the best! x

  24. Have a fabulous trip - like all your other commenters I look forward to reading about your travels when you're back:)

  25. Blessings on your trip, on your hip, may you stay warm, and have a blast. Enjoy your heart home.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

  26. You have the art of minimalist packing down to perfection! I can't believe you haven't even used your full allowance. Amazing.

    I hope you have the most fantastic time and that hip behaves itself. I shall miss you but look forward to hearing all about your adventures and seeing your photos when you return.

    Bon voyage!

  27. I had to giggle that Jon has padlocked the bags. It's a good idea, when I go away I'm always sneaking in extras that I rarely end up using!
    Hope you have a wonderful time, can't wait to read all about it.

  28. I blimmin love everything you have packed. You remind me of an exotic butterfly... But please tell me about the hip...I am heading for the surgeons knife and absolutely terrified

  29. woww, so lovely to see what's in your baggage once more!. I always enjoy watching this posts on packing (and I think they're pretty useful!). So glad to see your enthusiasm and joyful attitude, so fabulous! Even if January is going to be a sadder month without your posts, I'll have to wait until February to see which fabulous places you visited and be delighted by all the things that caught your eye!
    Looking forward to see you back, dear lady!

  30. Hi. Vix have a great time in India I'm hardly jealous at all��Is the camera still going strong? I wasn't sure how gd it was when I sent it. See you in Feb looking forward to sharing your adventures xx

  31. Have a fabulous trip! You look lovely in your Birthday dress, it was made for you! Safe travels my friend

  32. Hope you have a great time.
    I love the packing, you will both look fab.
    Can't wait to hear all about it! xxx

  33. A bit of India envy here. I love that you can travel there with 3 dresses, which is basically my India travel method. Because even when its "winter" (soft gentle breeze and still hot) I found that I could still wash and wear my clothes each day. Have The Best time xx

  34. Bon voyage!! I hate packing, I take ages and take everything - you're very disciplined! Xx


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Love from Vix