I remember when I was traveling, I sort of forgot what I looked like. It may sound crazy, especially since there are mirrors around, but usually they’re really small and you just see your face. You’ve got better things to do than to even spend much time even plucking your eyebrows, so eventually your only perspective of yourself is from looking down at your feet on in others people’s face when they look at you.
You even sort of forget about the fact that you haven’t seen yourself in weeks or months, or really taken care of your appearance, until you get somewhere where there are Swedish girls. Now, I don’t just mean because they are tall and skinny and blond and tanned. Well, it doesn’t help. But they travel with nice clothes (hello, who backpacks with/in lace underwear?), hairdryers and dress-up every night. You feel like going out for a drink and you wear the same rugged and sun-bleached clothes you’ve been wearing for the last 5 months and bang!, in comes a Swedish girl that looks like she’s straight out of a fashion mag. It’s enough to make anyone reconsider their outfit…
So, yeah, I had my moments of vanity (namely in Thailand, where Kho Pi Pi was like Little Sweden) but the rest of the time I just sort of forgot about it. I think that it helped that I was more low-key back then – even at home I didn’t really wear makeup. But now… I’m still not one to blow-dry my hair or wear high heels or anything, but my last trip was 5 years ago and, well, I got older.
I wear makeup every work day now (to hide those pesky dark circles and to feel more “put-together”) and I dye my hair to hide my white hair (not gray – I skipped that it seems). I do look much better, in my opinion, after my short AM makeup session. And my hairdresser gives me the most natural colour wash ever! But with the days counting down I catch myself in the morning looking at my reflection and thinking, “oh boy”.
It will be interesting to get back to my natural self – no hair colour, no makeup, no eye cream, no anti-cellulite leg cream. It might not make for the prettiest photos of me, but heck, having a tan works wonder and at least by then I’ll have forgotten what I look like!