Unpopular opinion: only suckers of the highest order pack up a suitcase with clean clothes before heading on a trip. Is it you? Do you do this? Sucker. Travel with your dirty laundry, or not at all.
Over the years I’ve held this conviction so persistently that a reputation now precedes me. When, for instance, I texted a friend in Florida who I’ll be visiting soon, I asked, “Do you have a washer/dryer?”
Came the reply: “If you bring laundry with you again, I won’t pick you up from the airport.”
The nerve. Look, there’s nothing wrong with my go-to travel ritual. Some people drink before they fly. Some people wear slip-on shoes to breeze through security. Prior to my trips, I empty a big, lumpy, canvas laundry bag onto my bedspread, sift through the... uh, aromatic contents, stuff my selections into a duffel, and head for the airport. You ask me? I’d no more take clean clothes on a trip than I would schlep sand to the beach.
Over the past few years, no matter where I’ve traveled, my clothes come soiled. At every house I rent, every apartment in which I couch-surf, every hostel that puts up my raggedy ass, my question is singular. Do you, perhaps, have a washer/dryer that I could use? If it’s not too much trouble, of course. I’m a sudsy soldier of fortune, a wandering washerman, an itinerant launderer. And I’m here to tell you, this is the only way to go.