A Dozen Pairs of Shoes?

Day -4, Grand Asia 2018

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018 – Chicago:

Packing for a long cruise should be easier the second time, especially because I have my experience and detailed packing list from last year. As usual, I am torn between being reasonable about what I will need and taking things I might need – just in case.

I am trying hard to justify taking 12 pairs of shoes. That sounds like a lot. But here is my rationalization:

  • Three pairs are specialty shoes: swim shoes for the beaches, flip-flops for wearing around the room as slippers and exercise sneakers for walking the deck or in the gym.
  • Three are exclusively for dinner: two suitable for dressier nights and one for any evening. Frankly they are not comfortable enough for wearing all day.
  • Two pairs are comfortable enclosed walking shoes that require socks. I will wear these during the cooler days in Japan and China. One of them is water-resistant for rainy days.
  • Four pairs are sandals for the warmer two-thirds of the trip. One pair is new; I’ve broken in the others and know they will be comfortable on full days of exploring ports. In fact, two are so worn that they may not last the entire trip — hence I am taking both.

See, that doesn’t sound so crazy, does it?

I’m also taking:

  • 20 tops, some dressy, some long-sleeved and mostly summery
  • 11 pairs of pants and shorts, again some dressy and the rest split between seasons
  • 6 dresses, two for gala evenings and the rest sundresses.
  • 2 sweaters, a hoodie, an all-weather jacket and a windbreaker

This may be too many. Since I downsized a few years ago from a large master walk-in closet to a few square feet, I have adopted a minimalistic attitude toward clothes. My ship cabin’s closet space will be larger than mine at home. So I’m taking most of the clothes I own.

Still, my current packing list is not that much different than last year’s list.

Last year on Day 25 (October 26) I blogged the following: “On Monday I declared I was tired of my cool weather clothes. Today it became official, and I broke out the white pants I was saving for warmer climes. I need to remind myself that I also get tired of the same old clothes at home in Texas.”

And on Day 32 (Nov. 2): “Today we returned to the warmth. The morning temperature was in the 70s, with a noticeable touch of humidity. At breakfast, I overheard a woman at the next table excusing herself to change clothes, because ‘I am wearing winter,’ she said. I had been wearing fall. Out will come the shorts, summer tops, cotton skirts and flip-flops.”

And so as I pack this week, I remind myself that I will grow tired of my clothes and shoes, no matter how many I pack.


And yes, there is a short story titled A Dozen Pairs of Shoes, by Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, a Filipino. It’s worth a read.