“How many pairs of shoes do you have?”
This was a question I was asked recently. I’d flown to London for a meeting with one of my clients, her team & board. As I work remotely, although I’d been in contact with everyone by email or phone, I’d actually met very few of the people there.
Some may have known that I was based outside of London, but few were aware that I lived & worked from Spain. Naturally they were curious & wanted to know more about my lifestyle.
Learning that all hubby Rob & I own fits into a car prompted the question about the number of shoes I have & a peer under the table to see what I was wearing!
This was funny & I half wished I could show something more shocking than my smart brown & red ankle boots!
12 pairs if you’re wondering, plus wellies.
In just under 18 months, I’ve never worn my black kitten heels or cream wedge sandals, whilst there’s a few other pairs have only rarely been used.
With wide size 8 feet, fashion footwear has generally never fit so when I find smart comfy shoes, I look after & keep them for as long as possible.
So even if I worked in London, I’d still not own many more pairs than I do now, but then I’d never work in London & consider myself fortunate not to have to conform with appropriate attire to be accepted in the corporate world.
Not when being a Virtual Assistant has given me the opportunity to work from Spain in my flip-flops!
We pack carefully, having a couple of suitcases in case we go on holiday elsewhere, but with most of our clothing & a change of towels & bedding in vacuum sealed plastic bags with the air sucked-out. This idea didn’t seem quite so bright once I realised continental homes have tiled floors & no vacuum cleaners…
I resort to first rolling on the bags to expel air & then sucking as much more out as I can by, well, sucking! It’s the reverse of getting light-headed when blowing-up a balloon 🙂 But it works well-enough.
I have a few packing cubes for our smalls, but did cram so much in these that some of the zips broke. My shoes are in a (now tatty) canvas storage case & I stuff my socks into the boots & trainers.
I have to be organised with packing so I know where to find everything. This works most of the time as we have toiletries bags, a blue holdall for wires, cables & extension leads, a cream one for small electrical items (hairdryer, straigteners & travel kettle etc), a bag for my sewing notions, large laptop bag for my computer & accessories & nylon backpack for pet paraphernalia.
But there’s always a last-minute bag or two for all the bits & pieces that naturally collect on tables & worktops, or that we need right-up to leaving a home. These are the items that drive us nuts when we attempt to find them & cannot remember in which bag they may be.
We’ve undoubtedly left stuff behind, but if we cannot remember what & haven’t missed it, then we cannot have really needed whatever it was we left!
We’ve never been possession oriented & I’m appalled by today’s throw-away society & shiny-object syndrome, having to have the latest new thing, when the one you already have still works fine.
I’ve been surprised that I haven’t missed anything we used to have but don’t now. Admittedly, we need to rent furnished property & accept the varying degrees of comfort, how well the kitchen is equiped, (or not) & someone elses taste in ornaments & art. But that’s a minor detail to the life that we’re enjoying. We move stuff around to suit when arriving somewhere new & hide the most appalling clutter, then put it all back when we leave.