Before I begin this week’s post, I want to give a special thanks to one of my followers for this fantastic personalized gift! This pen will help me to gather my ideas on the road before typing them up and sharing them with all of you ❤
My number one piece of travel advice is always “travel light.” There is nothing worse than lugging around a heavy over-packed suitcase with no room for gifts and keepsakes you find while on your trip. While I usually try to take my own advice, this trip is a little different from my previous adventures. I guess that is because it’s not a trip. It’s a move. I have thrown everything I can imagine into my suitcase! I started by putting in only the essentials (or at least what I thought of as essentials) and weighed my luggage: 70 POUNDS! Just an FYI, the weight limit is 50! I couldn’t help thinking how I was possibly going to part with the things I deemed most important. I am only taking one checked bag and one carry on. I am not mailing any boxes. I don’t know when anyone will visit to bring me things I need. So I thought I would dedicate this Friday’s post to my new travel philosophy on packing for an international move without going over your baggage allowance!
Tip #1: Pack things with a purpose, not a memory. This was probably the hardest thing for me to do. I worked at a coffee shop all four years of college. In that time I acquired quite a few coffee mugs that I loved. When I went back to scale down my suitcase, I realized I packed 6 heavy mugs! That instantly took away at least 3 pounds. It is so difficult to leave behind things that you have an emotional connection with. I want to bring my high school hoodie and all my favorite photo frames, but the reality is I hardly wear it and I can by new frames abroad. Of course, bring a few things with you that remind you of home, but don’t pack the kitchen sink!
Tip #2: Be prepared to experiment with new local beauty products. I called my mom upstairs to help me eliminate some unnecessary items from my checked bag. When she saw me taking out bottles of specialty hair products for these crazy curls, I thought she was going to have a heart attack. She said “What are you going to do about your hair with no moisturizer!” She must remember more than a few hairy horror stories from past picture days. While I would love to bring a lifetime supply of my favorite moisturizers, lotions, and toothpaste with me, the truth is that I will run out of those things eventually. It’s not like I will fly home to get conditioner, so I might as well save the space now and find new products in Morocco. I am sure there is some Moroccan girl with my curls doing just fine with the selection of products in Rabat!
Tip #3: Bring one of everything, not three! Sometimes, it takes a child to see what a semi-adult can’t see. Yes, I am referring to myself as a semi-adult because this whole not being a student thing anymore is hard accept. I had my eight year old nephew over the other day and he saw me going through my clothes for the millionth time trying to get rid of what I don’t need. I had a stack of shirts that almost touched the ceiling and in my mind they were all different. It wasn’t until he asked me why I had three of the same grey shirt that I started to realize I didn’t need a long sleeved grey shirt, a long sleeved grey v-neck shirt, and a long sleeved grey shirt with a crisscross back. As long as you have a few staples in your wardrobe, you can still look amazing! So slow down on the long sleeved grey shirts.
Tip #4: Think back to the last time you used/wore that item. My last strategy for figuring out what to take out of my suitcase was strolling down memory lane. If I couldn’t think of the last time I wore a dress or walked in a pair of shoes, I got rid of it. Do not bring things that you hardly even use now. Just because you will be in a new place doesn’t mean you will miraculously want to start wearing that corduroy skirt that has been sitting in the back of your closet since sophomore year of high school. I also started trying on the clothes I was packing. Some of them didn’t even fit me anymore! Save the space for an extra photo of you are your friends or your favorite book!
So far those are all the tips I have! Let’s hope I can follow my own advice and don’t go overboard. I am sure I will be writing a post in the near future of all the things I wish I had with me in Morocco, but it’s not like I will never come back to the States. Plus if any of you want to come and see the beautiful landscape of Morocco, I would gladly offer myself as a tour guide in exchange for a little corner of your suitcase!
Only one more couscous Friday until I leave the US! My first stop is Italy for my host sister’s wedding. Then I am off to North Africa. Keep following along to see what happens next. I am sure next time I will be in the middle of some mental breakdown!
If you are moving abroad, bring measuring spoons and cups. I almost forgot them. Getting used to the metric system will be hard enough without ruining my cookie recipe.