My childhood was a little different than most—I grew up in Michigan until my father's job had him relocate us overseas to Hong Kong. I spent the remainder of my adolescence and all my awkward teen years in Hong Kong. My parents still live there, and ever since I graduated from college, the number of times I see them sadly whittled down from twice a year to once.
It's why I save and splurge my vacation days all at once. But this year, instead of just hanging out with the fam in Hong Kong, we added a quick four-day trip to Phuket, Thailand to the itinerary.
I hadn't been to Phuket since I was 11-years-old. What I remembered of the island? A lot of beaches and a lot of sun. This time around, I planned to make the most of the trip—escape the NYC cold, clock in quality beach time, and soak up some of the culture. But all of this meant re-thinking my wardrobe. In the winter, I gravitate toward structured menswear-inspired silhouettes in black, charcoal, or navy threads.
For Phuket though, a tropical place that boasts sunshine year-round with temps that can drop to a balmy 75 in the winter, I tossed aside my city-slick M.O. in favor of fluid pieces washed in an ocean-inspired color palette of blue that ranged from aqua to deep azure. To complement the blues, I packed neutral separates (think: stark blacks and whites, and soft creams) for endless mixing and matching. One color theme also meant I could get away with one set of accessories, more or less. Plus, it helped minimize the risk of over-packing, and a pesky overweight luggage charge (guilty on both counts in the past).
Beauty-wise, I’m a huge stickler for sun protection. I brought all kinds of SPF under the sun, from lightweight liquids (perfect for the face) to heavy-duty lotions (for the body) to solid sticks (for both face and body). Other than Cetaphil’s gentle face wash, cleansing towelettes, and a sheer lip tint for a hint of color, there wasn’t much else to my Phuket beauty regimen.
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We stayed at Angsana Laguna, a resort that lives among a cluster of other family-friendly resorts situated on the Bang Tao Bay. When we weren’t setting up our daily camp at the beach, my boyfriend and I ventured outside the resort’s sprawling walls to explore little market areas (where I picked up a woven straw tote and cute knickknacks), marvel at one of Phuket’s most impressive and grand Buddhist temples Wat Chalong, and walk through Old Phuket Town, a historical district with Chinese and European influences in its architecture—it’s really something to see. Most people have to decide between beach vacations and city ones, but this one had a little bit of both.