italy-bound: five things i'm packing...

( h&m cardi/camera/madewell flats/dorothy perkins dress/kelly moore bag)

One of the first things I do after booking a flight to a new country or city, is hit the web in search of packing suggestions. Rome according to the web? It's hot, and if you're planning to see any religious sights like the Vatican, you've got to be covered up from shoulder to knees. Well, well. Guess who's just had a two-month crash course in international modesty + extreme heat?

THIS GIRL. (Yes. I just obnoxiously pointed at myself. So sorry.)

So, here are a few things I'm packing for Monday's flight to Rome, with the help of some lessons I learned in Kuwait:

(1) Breezy cotton dresses.  Since moving to Kuwait, I've nixed jeans...they're terrible in heat, and I hear the same is true in hot, humid Italy. Give me a maxi dress any day. But confession: I always wear little shorts or leggings underneath. Is that strange? 

(2) Lots of light cardis. After adapting to the rules in the Middle East, I've learned I'm cooler with my arms covered. Plus, gotta keep it modest, kids, if you want to see the religious artifacts.

(3) Supportive ballet flats. It's tempting to go for flip-flops in heat. I made this mistake once and only once in Kuwait. For extreme heat, sand, cobbled streets...or a day where you plan to walk 10 km...flips really aren't your BFF.

(4) Two Sues crossbody bag. Every forum I've read screams "LOOK OUT FOR PICKPOCKETS!" So I plan to keep this bad boy slung across and infront of my person at all times. The sneaky zippered, snapped passport + money holder on the back doesn't make it pick-proof, but it's definitely a deterrent.

(5) My Diana Camera. Cause, duh, it's cute. And because I'm embracing the ability to take photos in public, without fear of breaking laws or offending others.

Anything I'm missing, Italian travelers? Does one bring an umbrella to Rome? Hmm. Do tell. :)


  1. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! I'm so very excited for you! Looks like you've done a superb packing job - and that you're well prepared for being modest in hot weather! :)

    I was in Rome in September 2010, and it was cool in the evenings, but never rained once. So I wouldn't worry about an umbrella!

    And if a shower does happen to pass - it's a perfect excuse to duck under an umbrella at a cafe, order a glass of red wine and people-watch like crazy!!

    Safe travels love!

    she is red

  2. Oh have so much fun! I love Rome...gelato from Giolitti's (sp?) will keep you cool. It's so delicious! Safe travels!

  3. Bring an umbrella. If it does rain and you find yourself without one, the street vendors will harass you endlessly. I speak from experience. But, I guess I did get an adorable italian umbrella out of the experience. :)

  4. I love your attitude...it shows when you talk about learning about international modesty and heat! Have an incredible trip. You really do deserve it and even though when I was unemployed, I was here in the states, I know how you feel about having full days alone. People think it must be so fun but really it can be lonely and worse than having to work!! Take care.

  5. Oh my goodness, that dress is adorable. And inexpensive. And they have my size. How does it fit? Because I am fairly certain I need it. Right?

    And lookie loo - I made this all about me. I hope you have a lovely trip. I don't travel enough to know how to pack but it looks great to me.

  6. When we went to Rome- we had to buy an umbrella there! It was strange- it would rain like super hard, then it would mellow out and be a sunny day all in about an hour, to two hours! I would say maybe if you have room- take one just in case!

    I can't wait to see your photos Rome is so lovely!

    xo Kayla

  7. I have to wear short things under my maxi dresses or I chafe til I bleed! hahaha!

  8. looks likes a perfect list! have fun xx

  9. I have that Diana...it rocks! Have so much fun!!!

  10. My comment is mainly in response to yesterday's post (yesterday just got away from me too fast), but I did want to say that, yes, I wear shorts under my dresses/skirts too! If I don't my thighs rub together and ouch! (and that isn't too say that I have big thighs or anything...)

    Regarding yesterdays post...I spent 6 months in Norway, a country that I adored and isn't all that different from my Seattle home, and there were still many times that I felt alone and homesick. It can be rough...

    While maybe you can't do all the things that define you in Kuwait, you can explore new things and new activities that you might not be able to experience back in the US (making a cheap jaunt to Europe being one of them!).

    I've only been reading your blog for a bit now (not sure how I even stumbled upon it), but I wanted to comment to say yes, it can be rough, but keep your chin up, make the most of it, and don't feel bad about being sad - I think that is part of the experience of living abroad and something really important to take away from the experience.

  11. Sunblock. And coins to throw in the Trevi Fountain. :)

  12. I just got back from Italy, and I can say that your choices are quite appropriate. I you have a fantastic time! Actually, I know you will ;)


  13. This sounds like a blast! Also it's not at all weird that you wear shorts/short leggings under the dress, it helps prevent chafing!

    Also I was just in India, where we faced the same cultural feelings about modesty, and I'd suggest bringing a little hanky so if you sweat you can wipe it off with something that's not your sleeve :P

    Wrap skirts + tank tops with a cover are also fantastic! I ended up getting three of the wrap skirts when I was in India and I loved them!

  14. Frikkin love the camera, adorable blog. Following now<3

    Ashton from:

  15. Well have a wonderful time Bethany ! xxx

  16. Hi Bethany, so excited for you. Will be living vicariously through you! I lived in Rome for a year and know some cracking local secrets (like the best place for lobster pasta - called the Chanel!). Let me know if you'd like any tips.

    Have a great time - I think you deserve it!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

  17. you will be SO adorbs!! so in love with your rome picks and SO HAPPY FOR YOU that you're getting away on such a wonderful trip! i have never been to italy but am so antsy to see it all through your eyes and your blogging voice! seriously, enjoy every minute. i feel an eat.pray.love novel coming on...be safe and drink lots of wine and take millions of pics! xo. j

  18. I think this Roman adventure should lift your spirits and help you get back to being "Bethany". I like what you are packing. You are inspiring me with my packing now. x

  19. Have such a blast!! Rome will be the perfect getaway and hopefully so inspiring and uplifting! It's amazing to think about the amount of history in Italy, and Rome especially. Eat pizza, drink wine, definitely shop, and take LOTS of pictures! I can't wait to see Rome through your eyes!


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