The Hardest Things About Packing (and Moving on in Life)

As the year draws to a close, so does this chapter of my life; living at a university residence. Whilst I’ve met some incredible people, done some awesome things and drank and awful amount of goon, I’m glad to move onto the next and currently unknown chapter. As I lay on my bed, walls cast with the shadow of my travel photos that lined them, bags, clothes and mess everywhere… this is not the first time I’ve packed my life into bags. Yet the same questions, uncertainties and feelings overcome me. So here’s the hardest things I’m confronted with whilst packing up my life yet again.

Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~ photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg
Create the most beautiful life you can imagine! ~
photo from http://dearcrissy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/quote-about-the-future.jpg

What does the future hold?

Whilst not even tarot cards can accurately tell me this, it’s a bit unsettling having so many options and decisions to make for my immediate and distant future. Where will I live? Who with? Do I need to start looking for a house now? Or maybe just a room? What about my job? How am I going to afford Christmas presents? Can I go to this party? Or will I be working? What do I want to achieve? Countless questions flood my mind. The thing that gives me hope is that I’ve experienced this before (when I was leaving London) and I know that if you make the most of every opportunity, learn and grow from every experience and refuse to give up, then wonderful things will happen. You just need to first believe and then do it. The present and future is in our hands.

Is this the end?

The end of some things… yes. And thankfully, goodbye single bed, see ya later noise/alcohol bans, adios cookie thieves and au revoir to the thousands of lizards! The hardest thing, particularly leaving London, is imagining your life without certain people, places and the little things you’re used to, and the saddening fact that you don’t know when you’ll see them again. A big thing that I dealt with leaving London was the fear of losing the new London Adelaide. I was proud of everything I achieved and had become and was scared that it would disappear when I moved back to Australia. Sometimes I still feel like I’m dealing with an identity crises, however over time, you adjust. It’s almost like you get to recreate yourself again. The picture below shows how much I changed last year and even comparing myself to the photo from last year, I’ve changed a lot from that girl too. We have to create the life we want and inevitably we’ll change. Yet some things will never end, the unique and special friendships (especially those that cross borders), the memories, the lessons learnt and the feeling of creating a home.  With every ending, comes a new beginning, and they are always exciting (and your friends will want to hear all about it).

February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland) More than just my clothes changed
February 2013 & December 2013 (St. Andrews, Scotland)
More than just my clothes changed

How am I going to move all of this stuff?

I don’t know how, but I just accumulate so much stuff! It’s not until you start packing and thinking about transporting everything you own, you truly realise it. Luckily, my parents are helping me do this (thank god). When I moved back to Australia from London, I had to fit my life into 30kgs! (miraculously I did it). And with all the of the stuff you accumulated over your time somewhere, attached to each thing is a specific memory that you just have to hold on to!

My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.
My best friend trying to pack all of her stuff. Proved to be challenging yet possible.

Reflection, reflection, reflection 

Maybe it’s just me, but I take forever to pack because I look through things, I reminisce, I decide if I want to keep it or not, I organise things, toss thing and look at things a bit more. While I pack, I can’t help but reflect on the year that has been, how I’ve changed, grown and learned. I then listen to sad and soppy music and look at photos, thinking back to all the good times. And once I’m done reflecting (and sobbing), I think forward to next year and how I want to change, what I want to achieve, fix, excel at, get involved in. Once I do this, I get a buzz of excitement and just want to get it all started!

What gets me through?

Even though packing up your life and moving on can be difficult (and you will no doubt need an adjustment period), the thing that gets me through is hop for the future, that I can make each year, month, day, bigger and better than the last. Knowing that my friends and family love and support me (and will even help me move all of my stuff). Knowing that I have goals and dreams to aspire to, and that the actions I take now are a step towards those dreams. Knowing that each night the sun will set and each morning the sun will rise, shining new light on a new day. I know it’s incredibly clichéd, but it’s true.

xxx

A

After each sunset, there will be a sunrise
After each sunset, there will be a sunrise

Being a Stylish and Practical Traveller

Now that you’ve decided if you want to take a suitcase or backpack overseas on your big adventure, it’s time to pack it! These items and words of advice are things that I wish people told me to take/not to take, so I hope that this is helpful. *Also note that this is more for people traveling in winter for up to 3 months compared to people moving overseas to live. Also, things you pack will greatly depend on what time of the year you’re going travelling, but with European summers/winters, they’re never quite predictable.*

Check out this youtube video of easy steps to pack your bag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_igdkwII5yU&list=UU7xSgl9D3Mnw1xzwKh8yVYA

As you’re packing, lay everything out neatly on your bed so that you can visualise everything before you shove it into your bag.

Essentials

1 – Passport – You’re not going to get very far without it

2 – Bank Cards – Register them with your bank to inform them you’ll be overseas

3 – Money – Have some local currency on you when you land

4 – Travel Insurance – You just never know what life is going to throw at you

5 – Medication – Pack any medicine you may need and check that they comply with laws of the country you’re entering. It’s not a bad idea to have a little first aid kit with you either. With some bandaids, antiseptic cream, panadol, nurofen and cold and flu tablets. Don’t worry about taking anti-diarrhoea or anti-nausea tablets because most European countries have high standards of food preparation and water quality. If you’re unfortunate enough to catch something bad, speak to the hostel staff immediately so they can assist you.

Technology

1 – Phone – I took my iPhone 5 and it was literally my life, if you take a smart phone, then I wouldn’t recommend taking a laptop. It’ll just be heavy in your bag and you run the risk of losing it or getting it stolen

2 – Camera – You want a good little camera to document your trip and that you can just put in your pocket. Unless you’re a professional photographer, a massive Canon SLR will just be chunky and in the way.

3 – Chargers – Make sure you have the chargers to all of your electronic devices!

4 – Adaptors – Make sure you have an AU-EU or AU-UK adaptor before you go so you can charge your phone as soon as your check in

packed-suitcase

In the Bag

1 – 1 pair of boots – I took my black Doc Martens and man they go with absolutely everything!

2- 1 big, warm, long coat – you will be wearing this everyday, so make sure its warm and you love it! (Opt for navy or black,  it’s practical but also hides dirt/marks)

My favourite Oasis coat, jeans and Docs - Saint Andrews, Scotland
My favourite Oasis coat, jeans and Docs – Saint Andrews, Scotland

3 – 2 pairs of thermals – I took a thermal singlet (which I legit wore every day) a long sleeve thermal for those extra cold days, and 2 pairs of thermal tights (I also wore them everyday)

4 – Your swimmers – It may be winter and snowing outside, but you never know where you’re going to end up

5 – Socks and Undies – This is where you thanks Mum for the mundane presents on your birthday. Take enough underwear to last you 2 weeks because you don’t know when you’ll get to do your washing next. Take 2 pairs of thermal, fluffy socks and 3 pairs of little ankle socks (whenever I went out in freezing conditions, I sometimes wore 2 or 3 pairs of socks at once). Also girls, you really don’t need that many bras. Personally, I’d take 3, max! They just take up room.

6 – 3 T-shirts – you can wear these all the time, they’re comfy and practical

7 – 1 pair of jeans – black of denim will go with everything. If you’ve got a bit more room you can pack 2 paris but you can definitely get by just on 1.

8 – 1 or 2 going out outfits – for girls this is easy, pack 2 pretty/sexy dresses for when you hit up the town. Boys, just a nice pair of trousers, chinos, and a dress shirt so you can pull all the ladies.

9- Gloves/Beanies/Hats/Scarves – Invest in 1 good scarf, 1 pair of warm and water proof gloves (i own beautiful leather ones) and 1 cool beanie that will go with most things. Keep these in a separate part of your bag because you’ll be accessing these all the time.

My other gorgeous Forever New coat, jeans, Docs, favourite scarf and beanie that I wore everywhere! - Krakow, Poland
My other gorgeous Forever New coat, jeans, Docs, favourite scarf and beanie that I wore everywhere! – Krakow, Poland

10 – Thongs – and for you non-Australians, I mean ‘flip-flops.’ If you’re staying in hostels, you want to be wearing thongs in those showers. Because you have no idea what’s happened there before… ewww.

11 – Toiletries – Have a toiletries bag to keep everything together. You’ll need shampoo/conditioner (you can buy bottles where they’re 2 in 1), face wash, face wipes, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, moisturiser, make-up for girls and anything else you use in the shower on a regular basis.

12 – A diary – I kept a diary whilst overseas and it’s my favourite thing to do, read back over it and reminisce about my adventures.

13 – A friendly attitude and open mind – you’re going to meet so many incredible people from every corner of this globe. Ask questions, go out, talk, adventure, get lost and learn along the way. Open your mind and you never know what you might discover next.

Ciao