Official Countdown – 15 days
Greetings readers! We meet again. This is a series in which I share my ongoing experience of packing for my year abroad in Middelburg, Netherlands as part of the Glendon Exchange Program, and hopefully provide some tips and tricks to help you pack as well. Last week I told you about how I realized that “Size Matters” in regards to the choice of baggage. Welcome to Part Two of Packing Up The 6ix With My Woes – The theme of this week’s segment is choosing what to pack. I thought choosing the correct type of bags was difficult, but filling said baggage is a different kind of struggle.
Update from last week: I decided to purchase the camera pack I mentioned in part one. Well, I should rephrase that, I was going to purchase it, but my Grandma payed for it before I could pull out my credit card; My Grandma is THE BEST! At Henry’s, we were helped by a man named Paul, who we found out is a Glendon Political Science alumnus. He recommended a theft proof camera strap for traveling. The one we chose doesn’t have a brand name written on it, as recommended by Duke. (a Henry’s photography teacher) This strap is more ergonomic than the Canon I currently own, and it can extend so my camera can be across my chest and hang at my hip (I’m too tall for my current strap to comfortably fit across my chest). Paul offered to attach the new strap to my camera, and for that I am incredibly grateful as it took him, a person who works with cameras and camera equipment, a very long time to attach it. I guess that means that no one can steal it from me!
We have the bags and cases to pack all my belongings in, now the question is, what do I pack!? I’ve created a list, my mom has created a list, we’ve read many “year abroad packing lists” and checked the weather in Middelburg, but the question still stands. When leaving for a year, you have to consider so many things. Clothing is obvious, but choosing which pieces of clothing you want to take is a major struggle. As the title says, this is the editing stage. Usually when you write a paper, you whip up a rough draft and then go back to revise and edit; you add some components, you remove some components. Packing is quite similar – you want to look fly, but you also have to consider, how easily you can do laundry, can you layer this with other things, does it match, and, most importantly, WILL IT FIT IN THE CASE!?
Choosing what clothing comes with me has been an exercise in willpower, but I’m not doing so well considering I’ve done two decent shopping hauls since May and would like to take all the items I (or my parents) purchased (life hack: don’t do this). In terms of editing my list, I’ve mostly narrowed down the leggings, pants, shorts, sweaters, and outerwear that I am packing. I still have to choose my tops – which is probably the most difficult decision to make. I have decided that I won’t pack my Gryffindor Sweater (yes, I am a Huffelpuff… yes, I have a Gryffindor sweater) because I don’t put it in the dryer, but it’s thick so if it doesn’t dry properly it might smell weird – see? I’m editing (read: sacrificing).
Another thing that I didn’t think would be so difficult is choosing what shoes to pack and keeping the choices a secret from my Dad (who loves shoes yet cannot understand why I need seven pairs). As I will be Frankie Valli, and have to think about the four seasons, my shoes have to be weather appropriate and comfortable. I have finally decided on taking my Timberland Boots (for the winter), waterproof hiking boots, running shoes, birkenstocks, bobs, flats, and flip flops. I was somewhat concerned about bringing so many shoes back home because I will only have the one suitcase to return home with, but I am taking shoes that can be left behind or thrown away after the year.
This weekend, although we have plans on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the goal is to sort out everything that is going in the suitcase for sure. We usually pack, unpack, and re-pack, so by next weekend, hopefully that will be finished.
Until Next Week! Song of the Week: Feelin’ Myself – Nicki Minaj Ft. Beyoncé If you haven’t witnessed the perfection that is this video, please click the link (and if you have, watch it again). Also, the Nicki Concert Hangover is real, but more on that later.