The trip is here whether I’m ready or not. Tomorrow morning my parents and I will leave the house at 8:00 am to get to St. Louis with plenty of time for currency exchange, checking baggage, and security; my flight leaves at 1:30. Once I set foot on that plane, this is real life!
Lots of preparation went into this trip. On that note, let’s talk about my “packing light” skills. I have none. And unfortunately those are apparently crucial skills to have when studying abroad. For the semester, I am taking one large checked suitcase that can weigh up to 50 lbs (mine is an American Tourister rolling bag – I got it at Target), one carry-on backpack that doubles as a suitcase (mine is the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Junior), and a rather large purse that will also be doubling as a camera bag for my DSLR.
I will first fly to London for a 3-day stopover. I packed my carry-on to accommodate this section of the trip. On the plane, I will wear a pair of skinny jeans, a short sleeved shirt, a cardigan, a scarf, flat brown boots, and my peacoat. In my carry-on, I have:
-one pair of teal skinny jeans
-one navy blazer
-one short-sleeved shirt
-a pair of Nike shorts and a t-shirt for sleeping
-2 tank tops
-a Southwestern sweatshirt (gotta rep the Builders 🙂 )
-a water resistant Under Armour jacket
-two Coastal Scents makeup palettes: the 88 original palette and the 88 shimmer palette
-my entire makeup bag (minus liquids/gels)
-a travel makeup mirror
-my travel-sized liquids in a quart bag
-my German-English dictionary
-my travel documents
-my prescription medicines for the length of the trip in original packaging + some ZZquill so I can sleep on the flight
-my laptop, external hard drive, chargers, etc.
Plus the requisite undergarments/socks for three days. Really only the first 5-6 items are required for London. The rest of the items are things that made my checked bag weigh too much and had to go somewhere else. The days that I am in London I plan on mixing and matching the pieces that I have in my carry-on to make various outfits. Gross? Possibly. If worse comes to worst, I can always dig through my checked bag to find clothes.
Now down to the nitty gritty: my checked bag. The big dog. The gold mine.
Here’s what’s in my checked bag:
-5 pairs of pairs of pants of varying colors
-a skirt and three dresses + a half slip for under my white dress
-2 cardigans and a blazer
-10 shirts/tops (some short sleeved, some long sleeved, some sweaters)
-3 tank tops
-floral tights, plain black tights, thermal leggings, plain black leggings, 2 pairs of running tights (it looks a little excessive when I write it out like that…)
-2 sports bras and 2 workout tops
-2 pairs of Nike shorts
-2 pairs of yoga pants and a pair of fuzzy pajama pants
-3 Southwestern t-shirts
-a puffy winter/snow coat
-appx. 10 days worth of underwear/socks/etc.
-a bath towel
-measuring cups (apparently this can come in handy when cooking so you don’t have to convert the recipe)
-travel packs of tissues, cotton rounds, a bottle of ibuprofen, a bottle of nasal spray
-a waist belt
-the liquids from my makeup that are too big to have in my carry-on
-black flat boots
-brown flip flops (for hostel showers)
And that’s pretty much it. All the clothes in both my carry-on and my checked bag are rolled to save space. Shoes go around the edges and socks/underwear are shoved inside shoes and into nooks and crannies. I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff and I’m sure I will throw some things in at the last minute…but for the most part, my whole life is packed into one less-than-fifty-pound suitcase. It’s a bit of an accomplishment if you ask me.
Emotions are running high right now. I probably won’t sleep much tonight. I guess that just means I’ll be able to crash on the flight 🙂
Don’t forget to add me on Skype (maggie.ann.collett) or ooVoo! Also if you want to text me, download the app Viber and I’ll be able to text when I have Wifi.
Wish me luck!