One more day. I have one more day until I leave for Copenhagen!
I’m truly in the final stretch – I checked out my syllabi on courseworks, I looked over the orientation schedule, and I talked to my roommate for the first time. It’s safe to say that the nerves and excitement are real.
But, I had a problem. I, being the starts-packing-days-before-departure person that I am, questioned whether I could meet my only pre-departure goal. As you may remember from last week’s post, I set the goal to pack light. Well, I can assure you that I certainly tried to pack light. In fact, I have packed and repacked my suitcase three times now, moving clothes around, taking sweaters and pants out, and forcing myself to consider whether I’ll actually wear those pair of cute shoes. I thought I was being decisive in my packing, but it was still a challenge to fit everything in. But I did it!
Why was it so hard? I blame the coats. Since – ya know – Copenhagen is notoriously cold, I am bringing some coats (crazy, right?). And while I’m packing only a few (four to be exact), they are rather bulky (annoyingly bulky, to be honest) (Am I overdoing it on the parenthesis?). I am convinced that if I were going to the Bahamas for instance, I would have no problem packing for fourth months; toss in some bathing suits, sunblock, a hat, and a dress and I’d be good to go. But no, I choose to go to Scandinavia where my family friend who goes to school there told me it’s really, really, really, really cold. Yes, she used FOUR reallys to convey just how cold it is. And people say I’m excessive.
Despite my struggles to fit everything into one large checked bag, one carry-on, and my backpack, I didn’t give in and bring two suitcases. I mean, how sad would it be to fail my first goal right off the bat? So, with determination, I sat on my floor and sorted my clothes once again until I was certain that I had enough space. And even then, I continued to take out clothes during my final pack that I had decided weren’t necessary.
Luckily, I have a lot of experience packing. This summer, I was in three different climates for one trip and was able to pack everything into one bag. Not to mention my bag also weighed the least in my family – not that huge of an accomplishment since my whole family overpacks, but I was proud nonetheless.
For those of you who are curious about what to bring, how to pack, and how to assemble your abroad wardrobe, I wanted to share my process. I started out by picking out everything I wanted to bring with me, knowing that I wouldn’t – and couldn’t – pack it all. From there, I counted how many of each type of clothing I laid out (shirts, sweaters, pants, etc.). I picked out 15 sweaters (I like knits, what can I say?), which I knew was wayyyy too many, and narrowed it down to 9 (still a lot, I know, but blame the cold!). I did this for each item of clothing, allowing me to cut my pile down by a 1/3. From there, I considered versatility. I wanted to bring with me pieces that could be mixed and matched. So, I stuck to a color scheme since most of my closet consists of only five colors anyway, so that everything could be styled in a variety of ways. This meant forcing myself to give up on that super cute orange top that would be perfect for that super specific but unlikely situation, since I knew it was impractical to bring those types of pieces along. From there I started to pack! I used packing cubes to help organize my suitcase which was helpful because if one long t-shirt didn’t fit in, then I made myself take one out so that everything fit. I found it quite therapeutic to sit on my floor with the Office playing in the background, folding clothes and organizing strategically.
While my process isn’t perfect, it’s definitely a good starting point. Moreover, I really enjoy the process of packing because as I hold an item of clothing in front of me, debating whether or not to bring it, I allow myself to envision my time in Copenhagen wearing that item. If it’s hard to see that vision clearly, then the item doesn’t make the cut. This process of visualization helps prepare for what’s to come. It reminds me that these pieces are all that I am taking with me, so it’s important that they are reliable pieces that I have thoughtfully chosen to include. Also, packing makes it official! I am actually leaving.
So, my bags are packed, my audiobooks are downloaded, and I’ve tripled check my backpack to make sure I have everything I need. I am ready to start my adventure abroad.
See you in Cope!
BTW, here’s my list of what I have packed with me:
- Big winter coat
- Small puffer coat
- Lightweight spring jacket
- Lightweight Raincoat
- Sweaters (9)
- T-shirts (6)
- Long sleeve T’s (7)
- Shorts and long pants – I usually prefer to sleep in shorts even in the middle of winter but figured I might want long pants just in case
- Nice tops (5)
- Dresses (2)
- One casual maxi dress and one formal dress
- Pants (6)
- One pair of nice linen pants and 5 pairs of jeans
- Sweatshirt (1)
- A New York City sweatshirt stolen from my dad’s closet is a nice reminder of home
- Going to a Hungarian thermal bath while on my core course week so this will come in handy
- Exercise clothes
- Scarves (3), gloves (2), a beanie, and a baseball cap
- Bras/sports bras
- Fun fact: socks are my favorite clothing item. I have some fun socks that I couldn’t resist bringing so lookout for my cats + books socks and my grilled cheese socks
- Chelsea boots
- They are waterproof and super cute so they are probs going to be my go-to shoe
- Snow/winter boots
- Not super chunky or big, which is great. They keep my feet warm, are comfortable, and reasonably cute
- Black booties
- Comfy booties with a bit of a heel in case I want to dress up
- Running shoes
- Vans + sole inserts
- White slip-ons
- Will most likely only wear this once it gets warmer but in LA they are my fav shoes
- Over-the-ear and in-ear
- Phone + charger
- Computer + charger
- External hard drive
- In case anything happened to my computer
- For the holidays my dad gave me two adaptors for all of Europe
- Make up
- Travel size toothbrush, toothpaste face wash,
condition, shampoo, and body wash
- For when I travel on weekends
I am not brining a ton of toiletries since I am planning on buying stuff once I get to Copenhagen. I made of list of what I need once I get there
- Shampoo, conditioner, body wash
- Makeup remover
- Face wash
- Toothbrush + Toothpaste
- Really wanted to bring books with me since I’m an avid reader, but they were too heavy, so I downloaded some audio books onto my phone
- Travel pillow
- Water bottle
- Room décor
- Wanted to bring some photos of friends and family to personalize my dorm room
- Important travel documents
- Passport, credit cards, student ID, driver’s license