Official Countdown until Takeoff: 22 days!
Aah Packing… Everyone’s favourite part about traveling… I’m hoping you caught the proverbial sarcasm in my voice, my least favourite part about traveling is packing. In my post before I went to Chicoutimi last spring, I told you about the difficulty of packing for the 5 week session. Right now, I would pack for 5 weeks in a heartbeat; trying to figure out how to pack for an ENTIRE year is incredibly daunting.
Packing has been in my mind for a few months now, but after the one month pre-departure mark (last Monday), things have now kicked in to overdrive. My packing list is currently 4 pages long and includes everything from clothing to toiletries to entertainment (such as my camera and the extra copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone); I should also add that the list is not complete and also has to be massively edited (shoutout to Google Drive for not getting lost, damaged or running out of space like paper lists do).
Our biggest struggle at the moment is figuring out how to pack all the things – we have two full set of suitcases (large, medium, small, carry-on, and mini duffle bag). Right now the plan is to pack the 2 big ones with all my stuff, and because my parents are traveling with me, once we arrive in Middelburg, we’ll reorganize their stuff and I’ll keep a large and medium case for the year. The suitcases aren’t as worrisome as the carry on luggage/short trip baggage. The smaller airlines have cheap airfare, but if you have to check a piece of luggage, the fees are extravagant. The original thought was to bring the carry-on sized suitcase as my short trip bag. In conversation with my friends who have recently been abroad, they have advised me to invest in a small duffle bag rather than using the suitcase carry-on. Their reasoning was that it’s easier to get around the rules of the low cost carriers in regards to the size; and the duffel bag is significantly lighter than a carry-on suitcase.
I decided on this duffel bag from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). It’s the extra small (35L) one, and it folds up into itself very nicely. The next task was to find a camera bag/day pack. I am taking my Canon Rebel with me to Europe and I want to make sure it’s protected but also easily accessible when I need it. I have a camera case, but it has no place to put anything else, and if I carry a knapsack, it fills up the majority of the space. I want my pack to protect my camera and my wallet (including my passport, visa, and money), as well as be able to hold a jacket or sweater, my phone, some snacks, and a water bottle – all the essentials for a day out. It also has to fit in my duffle bag if the airplanes are being fussy with baggage.
We started looking at camera bags at MEC and at Henry’s Camera Store; again on the advice of my friend who went abroad in first year. I browsed the Henry’s website and thought I had found the perfect pack and it was a very good price. Unfortunately, when we went to the store, the camera section did not fit my camera body and lens. I continued to browse the selection and I finally found one that fit my needs (it’s about double the price as the one I found online ). I haven’t decided on purchasing it, we’re going to see if another store carries the same product or a similar one for cheaper (#studentbudgetlife).
Finding the right baggage to pack is the first step, and might be the most difficult as there are so many factors to consider. I will keep you updated on what camera pack I decide to purchase, and who knows, by the time you get part two of this series, I might have changed my mind as to which suitcases I will be packing. Stay tuned Packing Up The 6ix With My Woes – Part 2 in which I will share my struggles with keeping my packing list short.
Until Next Time!
Note: This is part one of a series of posts I will be publishing as I pack. Hopefully this will help some of you lovely readers as you start to pack for school at Glendon (or you upper years who are going on exchange too 😉 )
Song of the Week: First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar