The Stuff of Lives
Thank you again, Brandon!

The Stuff of Lives


Since posting the story and image of the four bags we arrived in Sicily with, many people have asked if that’s all we brought from our previous lives in America, and after being told that it was in fact all we brought, they wanted to know what things did we find so important and/or dear to our hearts to haul across the Atlantic ocean.

It’s an interesting list, and one we want to share with you now. But first you should know, with eons of migration coursing through human blood, what one carries has little to do with attachment and everything to do with need. So you can be sure there were a lot of items we parted with of which we loved. Things that brought us so much delight and each in their own way told a story of who we were, what we meant to one another and others. Things like books, favorite dishware, the table we shared with so many others, so many tools and gadgets and a plethora of outdoor recreational gear.

Few of those things made the cut, but then some did, as you’re about to see. The important thing here is the opportunity to cull and weed out stuff that may have served a purpose, but that purpose wasn't always serving us. It was serving some other need, which is always worthy of a clean out. What remains are those things that truly matter, and that is a chance that doesn't come along very  often.

Sidenote: After two months of being here, we are happy to report that we can still pack everything we own in those same four bags, stuff it into the back of a small car and be on our way in under an hour.  

The Carry-on bags

I’m not going to go into detail, but it should suffice to say, we pared down a lot. I mean A Lot. In the four bags pictured, only two contain clothes. Our children each are responsible for bringing us one carry-on bag with contain cold-weather items, such as heavier shoes, sweaters, hats and coats.

For the most part though, the clothes we have now are the clothes you see in those bags. They consist of a few pants, several short and long-sleeved shirts, some dresses, pajamas. Very little in terms of dressy items, absolutely no ball gowns or suits. We each brought 2-3 pairs of shoes and several pairs of shorts, along with some exercise clothes, jump ropes, a couple of swimsuits, and a few T shirts.

Or course, we had a slew of can’t-do-without electronics and gadgets that we carried in our shoulder work bags, which fit under the seat. Also, just FYI, our bags were of the carry-on backpack varieties (Cotopaxi and Patagonia), though the attendant at our departure airport asked if we wanted to check them at our first stop, to which we replied: Oh, Hell Yes!


Clothes (packed)


1 comfy casual top

Vaccine Card

2 dress up-or-down tops

Driver's License(s)

3 bottoms (shorts, skirts, dresses)

Phone (back up of docs on iCloud


Debit Card

1 "nicer" outfit

Credit Card

5-6 prs Underwear

Phone Charger

3-4 prs Socks

2 extra Bras

Worn on Flight

1 Lounge about outfit






1 pr nice shoes/ sandals

Bra (otional ;)

1 pr slip on shoes

1 warm layer (lightweight)


Outerwear (packed)

socks + compression socks

1 Jacket (waterproof)

1 LS Shirt



Macbook Computer 

Go Pro and Cords


Travel Adaptors

Toiletry Bag

Battery Charger

Tooth brush

Tooth paste






nail clippers

Small Daypack

Shaving Cream

Packable Tote


Luggage Lock

Body/ Fash Wash

Travel Towel


Packable Blanket



In-Flight Kit



Bug Juice

Lip Balm

Q Tips

Water Bottle

Add'l Prescriptions

Ear Plugs

Laundry Bag

Eye Shade

Hand Cream

Reading material


Toothbrush + paste

Meds: Prescription, Advil, Motrin

Snacks: Granola Bars

Notepad + Pen

The Two Duffel’s

This is where it gets interesting.

In the black duffle, we packed the following:
Linens for one queen bed
Enough towels for a family of five (when you find towels  you love you don’t skimp and you don't leave them behind. Ours were from Pact)
A couple of extra pairs of shoes (I mean, really, 2-3 pair? Simply not possible)
All of this was squeezed into a couple of  those magic shrinking pack bag thingies).

In the green duffle went our:
Our kitchen knife kit with a bread knife, of course, and lots of other, important cool shit

Two Bialetti moka pots
A salt pig (yes, a salt pig. Very important)

A bamboo cutting board
Black pepper mill, another favorite necessity (DM us for our brand)
Our favorite coffee mugs (pictured above)
And two special glasses

Thanks Paula!

Two aprons
A set of espresso cups
One frying pan
100% of our stainless steel kitchen utensils
And what would Sicily be without an awesome way or carrying cold Aperol Spritz!

Had we had more room, we would’ve included:
Our granite mortar and pestle
The Fiesta dishware I mentioned above
One Le Creuset 6 qt pot
And definitely this delightful table accessory

FLIKR Personal Cement Fireplace

So, that’s pretty much the cache of items we loved or needed enough (again, mostly the latter) that we brought with us. A couple of books did make the cut, but I’ll save that for later as books, well, books are in a category of their own.

For any of who you’ve ditched one life for another, share with us in the comments or on our social media what things you could not do without.

A presto!

And thanks for following us!


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