With just under a week left before I leave behind this very rainy and cold country to go to an even colder place, I am faced with the struggles I’m sure everyone has when packing their suitcase(s). I have become quite efficient at packing for short trips and holidays; I can pack a carry-on for a seven-day trip, but I have never had to decide which things I don’t need, want or can live without for at least a year. I have been warned that taking too much is not going to do me any good when coming back. Oh, the torment of leaving behind that pair of shoes that I may wear, but usually just enjoy looking at here at home. The pain of saying goodbye to that bag I have been using for years, but just doesn’t seem as handy as the other three I’m packing (two of which are really small, I promise). The anguish of storing away those books that I kept on my desk and the affliction of choosing only one backpack to come along with me. The decisions are tough, but must be made.
So here’s what I’ve done: All the things I really won’t need like picture frames, decor, stationary items, my books and magazines, most of my shoes and a whole bunch of other bits and bobs are already in big plastic boxes ready to greet me when I get back. Things I use daily or weekly are upstairs in my room. I’ve put them in boxes: must come, can come and can stay. The things that can stay here will go in the last plastic box, the things that must come are the first to go in my suitcase and the things that can come have been put on a two week probation period leading up to my flight. If I get them out of the box to use them and if there is still room in the suitcase they are coming, if I don’t use them or there isn’t any room in my suitcase, then they are staying. Toiletries are staying; no question. Only travel sizes are allowed on board (literally). I’m only taking two books (my bible and a devotional) and only one pair of not so warm boots in the hope of buying a really good pair when I’m in the US. As I cut down on my clothes when I moved back to my parents after uni, this is one struggle I thankfully won’t have to face. The Au Pair Agency recommends taking clothes to last you two weeks. I probably don’t even have that many 😀
I am very grateful to my parents who are letting me keep my stuff in their house. This makes leaving things behind a lot easier. My sister already has her eye on the bag that’s not coming, so I know it will be in good hands while I’m gone. I have learned that it’s not just hard saying goodbye to family and friends, but also to your belongings you won’t see or use or wear in a long, long time. At least I am comforted by the hot water bottle I am taking, including its crocheted covered my mom made me. Yes indeed, priorities must be set.