I’ve done some packing lists here in the past but those are for traveling on a short term basis. aside from my three-month stint in hong kong, the longest i’ve been traveling as a tourist is my 3 week-tour around europe, and for that i have just packed a week’s worth of clothes. I have also packed for different kinds of weather, like my summer trip in bangkok, my winter trips in hong kong, my autumn trips in hong kong, and my spring trip in europe, with a bit of thermal wear as we climbed the snow capped mountains in the swiss alps, and various other trips.
packing has never been a challenge for me as i have famously travelled around europe in under 15kilos worth of luggage (famous because i never shut up about it, hehehe), and i’ve also gone to a weeklong trip with just my carry-on.
this time tho, i would be packing for something entirely different. I will be packing for an entire year, and complete with all 4 seasons of the year, as i would be taking my masters in Sweden for 1 whole year. packing for an entire year is a whole lot different than packing for a few months, and yet, i have the same luggage weight limitations. am not about to pay a hundred dollars per excess kilo even if i had the money, which i so totally do not.
in my case, budget is an issue. Don’t get me wrong, i would never try to pass myself off as impoverished. that would be an injustice to my hardworking family. but that’s just the thing, even if my family has a little bit of spare money, i’m not about to just mooch everything off of them. With the prospect of studying abroad, i am a full-time student, unless i find a job there, and i have to take out my entire life savings just to come up with the first part of tuition for the first semester. i had to beg my parents and my entire family to loan me the money for the remaining half of my tuition fee for the first semester, plus plane ticket, plus food, plus living expenses.. you get the picture. i know, i’m extremely blessed and fortunate to have the most amazing, most supportive, and most generous bunch of people in my life that i call family. okay. imma stop now before i get all weepy and fizz out my laptop keyboard with snot and tears. lord knows i haven’t got the moolah to replace it!
also, packing for the winter is an entirely different process altogether, and especially difficult for me as we don’t exactly have winter in my home country. in fact, even the coldest months can still be uncomfortably hot, so i don’t exactly have winter clothes at the ready. During my trip to the snow-capped Swiss alps, i’ve gotten away with just layering my clothes and a leather jacket, although i have never admitted it til now, froze my butt off pulling that stunt! but hey, it was just a day trip so i survived. i don’t think that trick would see me off the entire winter in scandinavia!
another challenge is the packing process itself. if you’re traveling for a few weeks or a few months, you would probably survive without bringing your running shoes or your airbrush makeup or your laptop. but for an entire year? you’d probably miss those, and if budget is tight, you buying those things when you get there would probably financially hurt you, especially if you’ve got one at home in good working condition.
also, i plan to travel around europe, at least the ones that are close to sweden like denmark and finland, and for that, i have to make sure that the items i pack are “travel friendly” as well. i know, i’ve already said that budget is a little tight and traveling can be a little spendy. Not necessarily. what makes travel expensive are the plane rides and hotel accommodation and the shopping. i plan to take trains and whatever cheap mode of transpo there is, stay in cheap hostels, and i’ve never been a shopper when i travel even when budget is in abundance. i just like seeing the sights and taking pictures. so i guess i’d be okay on that front. plus, i got myself an ISIC (international student’s identification card) which is a discount card that’s practically recognized all over the world, and it gives the cardholder access to exclusive discounts on hostels, airfare, entrance fees to museums, shopping, etc. will talk about the ISIC more next time.
so my game plan is to pool every possession i own, weed out the most important ones (hello LVs and airbrush kit. I’m taking you with me even if that means i have to live on just one pair of jeans the entire year!), and fit a little bit of everything in my luggage, bearing in mind the weight restrictions. this entails a lot of surfing around the web for blogs of other study-abroad students to check what they’ve decided to bring abroad. I’ve tweaked a bit of it to be more “me” even though lord knows i cannot afford to be “me” right now! or anytime in the near future, for that matter.
My Travel Outfit
for description please read my Plane Outfit post.
so behold my packing list! Read more…