I’m leaving for Madrid in four days and I’ve never started packing this early in my life. This is probably the aspect of studying abroad that I’ve been most concerned about. What to pack and how much to pack…these are daunting questions.
So I did what any college student would do and googled it. I didn’t just google it once, I’ve been googling ‘how to pack for study abroad’ since November.
Some of what I’ve found has been helpful, but the main message was pack everything you think you need and reduce it by half.
Um…no. No, I’m not going to do that. When I pack everything I think I need, then I’m pretty sure that I’ll wear it.
I’ve never been any good at math anyway.
Here’s my attempt so far…
As you can see, there’s not much room left. And I still have clothes at the dry cleaners.
I also haven’t packed most of the shoes I’m bringing…
Needles to say, this is difficult.
It’s not easy to pack for study abroad, especially when you need to have clothes that transition into spring. I also want to fit in style-wise in Madrid.
People keep reminding me that they have stores in Europe. Yes, I know they have stores in Europe. That’s another problem, I need room in my suitcases for purchases abroad. A friend who studied in Madrid last spring told me that every store has major ‘discuentas’ in January…I know I will be tempted to buy some European fashions.
I think the problem is that I’ve never had to pack for being away this long. Even when I lived on campus, my house was 20 minutes away at most and I could run home to pick up forgotten things.
I’ve also been reminded that I can wash clothes and don’t need to pack four and a half months of outfits. I know. But I like having some variety, different available options. Two pairs of pants isn’t going to cut it.
I’m going to have to figure this packing thing out. I predict much repacking and deliberation in the coming days.
Have you ever packed for a semester abroad?
What struggles did you encounter?
I’m going to get back to staring at my suitcases…