How to Take a Carry-on Travel Mindset into Everyday Life

November 01, 2016

This is a guest post from Barb McMahon, an artist, and writer at HappySimple

My husband and I love to travel. And when we do, we just bring a carry-on bag each. It’s such a great feeling to be able to skip past the baggage claim without having to wait and wonder and worry. Getting from the airport to our accommodations is so much easier with fewer, lighter bags.

Many years ago, after a really lovely trip to Paris, I thought, why can’t we live like that all the time?

Because it wasn’t just being in Paris that I adored, although I really adored that. It was also the lightness, the freedom of not needing to think about what to wear. With only two pairs of pants and a couple of shirts to choose from, I was dressed and ready to head out the door in no time flat.

We stayed in an apartment on that trip, and as a tourist rental, it was well, but minimally equipped. Doing the dishes and putting them away was easy because there was ample space in the cupboards for them. The floors were clear and open. I felt like I could breathe a little easier the whole time we were there.

When we got home, we started clearing out our stuff…

Simplifying + Making Room for Less

My wardrobe now fits in a third of a small closet and a couple of drawers. It’s more than would fit in a carry-on bag, but we live in a four-season climate and winter clothes take up a fair bit of space.

My wardrobe is versatile, with each piece serving multiple functions (hello, Encircled cardi!). Getting dressed in the morning is a breeze because everything fits and is a favourite.

Losing the excess clothing allowed us to sell off two armoires and a dresser, which made room for the desk I use to make my handcrafted cards and write my blog.

We also gave away several boxes of books, choosing to make use of our local library instead. Craft supplies, kitchen equipment and DIY projects, are all kept to the basic and are frequently culled. I like to knit, but my yarn stash is almost nil. This is practically unheard of in knitting circles!

 

Less, truly is more Freedom

And before all of this minimalism starts to sound like a life of grim deprivation, remember the image of skipping past the baggage claim?

That’s how I feel pretty much all the time.

Less stuff means a whole lot less responsibility.

Cleaning our place top to bottom takes about an hour. Laundry is an afterthought, rather than a massive chore. I can find what I need quickly and easily, even if I haven’t put it back where it belongs, because I never have to dig through mountains of stuff I don’t use.

Our house is actually starting to feel a bit too big for our needs (my husband and I live with our dog in just under 850 square feet), so we’re looking to sell up and move to a rented apartment soon.

This will give us more freedom, fewer responsibilities and make our finances a whole lot easier.

Experiences over Things

When you decide to own less, you spend a lot less time shopping, which frees up time and money for the things you would rather do. For us that includes everything from eating out more often to the really big adventures of running our own businesses. We opened a bakery a few years back and I make cards to sell at local galleries and markets and I write a blog. I’m also working on a novel.

The other bonus to travelling with carry-on is that we aren’t able to collect souvenirs. There’s just no room in our bags, which means we’re freed from the compulsion of having to bring back gifts for everyone at home.

So, instead of spending hours in museum gift shops, we spend our time viewing the actual exhibits before heading to a local café for a glass of wine and a ‘what was your favourite?’ moment.

I think with the shopping for and schlepping of stuff off the table, I’m able to enter more deeply into my experience of the trip. And isn’t that really the point of travel?

Bringing this mindset back home, I feel the same about my carry-on life.

Freed up from the shopping and the cleaning, organizing and all the rest of it here, I have time to head to a local café with my husband and talk about our day. I can actually notice and appreciate the way the sun moves across the bedroom (where I do my writing and creating) over the course of the day because there is open floor space for it to move across.

Because I don’t have a zillion of them, drinking my tea out of my locally-crafted, handmade mug feels like a celebration that I get to do every day.

Living this way allows me the freedom to say yes to so many more things.

Yes to opportunities, yes to adventures, yes to fun.

And sometimes those adventures take us away from home and sometimes they happen right here at home.

But they never involve waiting at the baggage claim, wondering what happened to our stuff.

 

Author Info: Barb McMahon is a writer and artist living in beautiful Stratford, Ontario where she and her husband have a bakery. She believes that life is a big adventure and that creativity is what makes us human. You can follow her adventures on HappySimple, be tempted by the goodness of the bakery Facebook page and see her creations on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 





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Encircled Size Charts
Please scroll down to find the size chart for each design. If you have any questions on sizing, please try out our online size recommender or click here to contact us with questions prior to ordering. Size charts are in alphabetical order based on design name.
If you're on our product page viewing the size chart, click anywhere outside of the pop-up (or on the X in the top right corner) to close the size charts, or click here to surf back to our main collection page.

The Chrysalis Cardi

Size
Garment Length (Laid Flat) Garment Width (Laid Flat) Bust 
(inches)
Waist 
(inches)
Hip 
(inches)
Height 

Regular

(xs - xxl)

38" 39.5" 32"-41" 25"-34" 35"-44" 5'2"-6'0"

Petite

(xxs - m)

35" 34.5" 27"-35" 23"-28" 30"-38" <5'4"

Maxi

(xl - xxxl)

43" 41.5" 41"-52" 33"-45" 44"-56" <6'0"

Fit Advice: The Regular Chrysalis Cardi is a one size fits most garment ranging from sizes XS-XXL or 2-14. It can be easily belted in multiple ways, however the Regular is not recommended for petite or shorter woman due to the volume of fabric - See Petite Cardi. The Regular is also not recommended for curvier/taller women due to fabric pulling around the bust or bottom - See Maxi Cardi.

We recommend watching the how-to wear videos to see how much fabric drape and length you would like in your finished garment. If you are in between sizes, it is best to size up and the garment can always be tailored shorter to better suit your look - you cannot add more fabric, unfortunately!

The Petite is best suited for women 5'4" and under with a smaller frame, although it will also work on women above this height (depending on preferred length when styled). 

The Maxi is best suited for all women under 6’0” with a curvier shape to eliminate any uncomfortable fabric pulling, although it will also work on women who are a bit less curvy (depending on preferred length when styled).

*If you have any questions on sizing, please contact us - Remember it is best to provide us with your height and size range of garments that you already own! 

 

The Dressy Sweatpant

WHEN WORN AT NATURAL WAIST

Worn higher up to sit at your natural waist - straight leg tapers from the hip to ankle opening.

Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16)
Waist (inches)
23" - 25"
25" - 28"
28" - 32"
32" - 34"
34" - 37"
Hip (inches)
32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
44" - 47"
Inseam (inches) 26.5"

Fit Advice: We recommend staying with your usual size if you are in-between sizes. The cut on The Dressy Sweatpants is more generous and the fit is meant to be drapey and slightly loose. 

 

The Essential Long Sleeve Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14-16 (XXL)
Bust 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 33 - 36" 36 - 39" 39 - 42"
42 - 45"
Waist 23 - 25" 25 - 27" 28 - 30" 30 - 33" 34 - 36"
36 - 38"
Hips 30 - 32" 33 - 36" 36 - 38" 38 - 41" 41 - 44"
44 - 47"
Front Length / Back Length 24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"
24 - 31"

Fit Advice: The Essential Long Sleeve Top fits a bit larger than our usual tees. We suggest to order true to your normal size, however since the styling is more flowy than our other Encircled tees, it is suggested to size down if you prefer a tighter look. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Evolve Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M)
10 - 12 (L)
14 - 16 (XL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
Waist 20-22" 23-25" 26-28" 32-34" 35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
Fit Advice: The fit of The Evolve top is drapey but tapers towards the hip and tends to fit large. We recommend for you to size down from your normal size if you are unsure. The fabric on The Evolve top has a natural stretch that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

The Flipside Legging 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam 28" 28"
28"
28"
28"

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing up if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The modal fabric on The Flipside Leggings is not as 'taut' as synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you prefer a snugger fit in the waist area for your leggings, size down. The Flipside Leggings are pre-shrunk. 

 

 The Minimalist Legging + The Minimalist Crop Legging

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

28"

(crop 20")

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The bamboo fabric on The Minimalist Leggings is tighter than the Flipside Leggings. The Minimalist Leggings are pre-shrunk.

 

The Nomadic V-Neck

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Retrograde Kimono Dress

Size
XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16) 
Bust (Inches)
28 - 32"
31" - 34"
34 - 37"
36 - 40"
40 - 49"
Waist (Inches)
23" - 25"
24" - 27"
27" - 30"
30" - 34"
35" - 40"
Hip (Inches)
30" - 34"
34" - 37"
36" - 39"
39" - 44"
44" - 49"
Length (Inches)
At longest, 30"
At longest, 31"
At longest, 32"
At longest, 33"
At longest, 34"

Fit Advice: The Retrograde Kimono Dress runs larger than our other Encircled designs and is our most "oversized" piece in the collection. We suggest to order true to your normal size to get the intended look. If you prefer a slimmer or tighter look, we suggest choosing a size down than your usual Encircled size.

 

The Reversible Pencil Skirt

Size
XS (0-2)
S (2-4)
M (6-8)
L (10-12)
XL (14-16)

Waist (inches)

23" - 26"
26" - 29"
29" - 32"
32" - 34"
35" - 37"

Hip (inches)

32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
45" - 47"

Length Total (inches)

20"
21"
22"
23"
24"

Fit Advice: The Reversible Pencil Skirt fits true to size, but it's suggested to size up if you fall between sizes. The pencil skirt offers a smooth silhouette that slightly tapers from waist to hips and down through to the hem, hitting just at knee length. A pencil skirt should smoothly skim your curves, so to get a perfect fit, first identify your largest measurement then choose the size offering that range while still allowing for some stretch. The fabric on The Reversible Pencil skirt has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

 

The Revolve Dress II + The Sleeveless Revolve Dress

 
Size
0-2 (XS)
4-6 (S)
8-10 (M) 12-14 (L) 16-18 (XL)
Bust (inches)
30.5 - 32.5 "
33.5 - 35.5 "
36.5 - 38.5 "
39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44 "
Waist (inches)
25-26 "
28-29 "
30-31 "
32-34 "
35-37"
Hips (inches)
33-36 "
37-39 "
40-42 "
43-45 "
46-48"
Length (inches)
At longest, 34.5" Adjustable
At longest, 35.25" Adjustable
At longest, 36" Adjustable
At longest, 36.75" Adjustable
At longest, 37.5" Adjustable

Fit Advice: The Revolve Dress is designed to fit drapey that tapers towards the hip. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. If your hip measurements are above the guide, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. The fabric on The Revolve Dress has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

 

The Wanderer Sleeveless T 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5"
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Wanderer Sleeveless T fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

 

The Reversibe Bandeau Bra  

Size
(XS/S) (M/L)
Bust 30 - 33" 34 - 37"

Fit Advice: The Reversible Bandeau Bra fits true to size and the wide elastic band provides light to medium support. To ensure proper fit, measure your bust and check our size guide.