Jimmy Choos clip clopping through the marble floors of my office building’s reception, I strolled past my coworkers, leaving them to fend for themselves amidst an asphyxiating cloud of my Chloe by Chloe perfume as I approached my corner office, haphazardly threw aside my swirly Paul Smith scarf, secured my mint green Versace collection coat on the back of my chair and sat down ready for a day of analyzing procurement spends. Setting my Caramel Macchiato down beside me (no it’s never too early for dessert coffee!) I extended a hyper-exfoliated, moisturized-to-within-an-inch-of-it’s-life, manicured hand to fire up my laptop…
Eighteen months later, wardrobe enviability factor substantially decreased to a point of virtual non-existence, I’m sitting on a bit of rock in the Jordanian desert, head to toe in hole-laden clothes which I’d worn out as a result of several weeks travelling in the Middle East with just a carry on, engaged in a perpetual cycle of constantly washing the same handful of clothes.
It was a long and difficult hike (7km in 30 degree heat including 850 steps! 😱) to reach Ad-Deir, the impressive monastery within the lost city of Petra but absolutely worth it. Not many visitors to the site choose to hike this trail so once you arrive, you will find that there are very few tourists to get in the way of your photo! There’s also a super cute cafe at the top which a local Bedouin man has opened in a cave and where you can enjoy your mint tea with a view 😊 Proudly #sponsored by @abrahamtours ✌️ #visitjordan #petra #jordan #solotravel #middleeasttravel #wearetravelgirls #girlswhotravel #girlslovetravel #travel #solofemaletravel #wanderlust #travelingram #traveling #travelblogger #sheisnotlost
As I sat there, I pondered if I had ever felt so hot in my life, and whether I’d survive this when I made the executive decision to take my long sleeved sweater out of my backpack, affix it to my head and tie the sleeves together to simultaneously secure it in place, and protect myself from the sun in the most ludicrous, unattractive fashion since I had that day forgotten to pack a scarf or a sun hat for my head.
There was no doubt about it: I looked criminally insane. However, needs must as it were and my logic and approach to ‘style’ as of late has been one of practicality rather than any form of ‘wow factor’.
“Practicality rather than style” said Marilyn Monroe probably never
Don’t get me wrong, I still take some care of my appearance – I’m not completely dismissive of my femininity. For instance, I’ll never let the lady garden grow wild and weedy, I’ll always change my knickers every day (hey boys!) and I’ll always apply lipstick before taking an Instagram photo (So what if I’m alone in the middle of the desert!) Most of the time, I’m completely fine about how I look – I’m travelling right? There’s no need to be glamorous! However since I’m always travelling, this is how I always look these days.
My constant movement from one country or continent to another means that financially, I have to live to a strict budget, and I always have to allow a little buffer just in case something goes wrong, tying all of my finances in my commitment to travel.
Perpetually living out of a suitcase means that there is literally no room for me to be dragging around a bag overflowing with more outfits, shoes, and cosmetics than Kim K.
I am of course, extremely thankful for the freedom and flexibility that travelling full time provides me with, and I consider myself truly blessed to have traveled as much as I have, but conflict zone exploring Travel Writer or not, I’m still, at the end of the day, a woman.
I don’t own any underwear that matches, and I certainly can’t remember the last time I owned any that you would define as “sexy”. I don’t have any stylish dresses suited for a night on the town – if a guy asked me on a date, I genuinely wouldn’t know what to wear, and I’d probably wind up calling my friends for reassurance that a hiking boot and summer dress ensemble in a Michelin restaurant isn’t that outrageous of a concept.
(Related article: how travel made me undateable)
Envy ensues when I encounter short term holiday makers – the girls who are only away for the weekend and whose makeup bags are better stocked than mine, whose contents are limited to a small melted stub of pink Maybelline lipstick, and a Korean mascara I’ve had so long that it only works after I run it under a tap.
I chose to lead a non-conventional life, but sometimes we do need some of those home comforts and treats, and a little taster of what is “conventional” and as a Woman, I just like to feel “pretty”, especially as I get older and I feel the “30” mark hurtling towards me at breakneck speed, I just know that I should be taking better care of my skin than scrubbing my face with the complimentary hotel soap which I will then go ahead and use to lather up my legs before I shave them (Oh the shame!), it would be nice to get my haircut again, spend a few days at the spa, and own at least one outfit which Beyonce would define as being a “Freakum Dress’ #2018goals.
Yours tomboyishly (but at least not sporting an overgrown lady garden)