Today we’re trading Chile’s little known Colchagua Valley Carmeneres for Argentina’s famed Mendoza Malbecs.
March marks the start of harvest season in Mendoza. Having spent three harvests working with a winemaker in Oregon, I am giddy to be spying on Southern American crush pads while they’re full of action.
My backpack is perfect for trips into the wilderness when I leave all cosmetics at home. But it also works really well for travelling as a tourist to new countries and cities.
What’s going into my pack?
- Colorful summer dresses to take me from biking in the sun to tasting in wine cellars. Synthetic fabrics like Lycocel and recycled polyester keep me cool and dry during the day and transition easily for evening.
- Stylish layers for paseando by lamplight. A cotton/lycra blend jacket in charcoal grey is lightweight, goes with everything, and earns kudos across continents. I also bring three scarves: one silk, one cotton, and one synthetic. They’re not just for adding to an evening outfit–scarves double as beach towels, sun protection, and bus-ride blankets. They keep me warm and keep me cool, depending on how I use them.
- I go nowhere without my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket. Not only does it keep me warm in all sorts of weather, it also stuffs easily into my bag like it’s not there, and makes an excellent pillow on the overnight bus. It was an investment piece I wouldn’t trade for the world.
- Metallic gladiator sandals and lightweight trainers. These are the heavy-lifting items in my closet, keeping me on my feet exploring. I tend towards metallics for shoes because they’re a versatile neutral and add a bit of *bling* without carrying jewelry in my pack. I also bring along a cheap pair of flip flops. If I’m cooking in a hostel kitchen, trying to get clean in a dirty shower, or trekking to a campsite restroom, I don’t have to put real shoes on but still feel like there’s something between me and a layer of ick. If anything happens to them, they’re easily replaced. I thought it was funny to realize how few pictures the Llama takes of my feet. Those pictures that show feet I am usually barefoot! Sorry…no photo for shoes!
- I carry a crossbody Bagolini purse which has intelligently placed pockets to help me stay organized when paying bus fares, keeping track of passports, and having a notebook and pen handy. Because I often wear jewel tones, the bright turquoise goes with
mostall my outfits. It’s small and lightweight but sturdy, and is easy to keep close when I get a weird vibe from strangers. Thanks Mom!