Published on February 2nd, 2011 | by Paz13
How to pack for a year abroad Part 2
Now that we are only 16 days away from our plane leaving O’hare Chicago we have decided on the majority of what is going in those beautiful pieces of luggage. Why are we going? We are packing only what we need and ditching the rest. Very, very, very little of our home will be stored in our basement. I hope to get a video out of what our storage looks like before we leave. Check out Part 1 and Part 3!
Coffee – The picture above is of my favorite coffee cup.Yes this is coming with me. I bought this cup when I studied in Puebla, Mexico in 2000. It makes me happy everytime I look at it. So it comes. So now the only problem is that coffee is not a common drink in China, or at least what you and I consider coffee. I read this great article in Forbes about Starbucks in China. Obviously Starbucks in expensive in China and we are not about to spend all of our money at Starbucks. They do have free wifi though. What am I going to do? Well like any good coffee drinker I am going to bring my own coffee to last at least a few weeks until we can figure out how to buy coffee at the local grocery store. Maybe I will end up ditching coffee altogether and go for only tea. Who knows…I know it is better for me, but I do love my coffee. Here is what I am bringing.
A good friend of ours gave me this Rwanda (free-trade) coffee for Christmas and it is delicious. I am also bringing my favorite instant coffee from Trader Joe’s.
First off clothing..what did I pack? For 1 year. Considering Guangzhou has similar weather to Florida it has made it a bit easier to pack. We really only need clothing for 2 seasons and not 4. Since we will be living in Guangzhou because of my new job we don’t need to be completely mobile, but we do hope to travel quite a bit while we are there. We love the idea of just picking up and going whenever we can. Totally free and contained to our schedule.
Work attire.The Chinese dress formal for work. You are looked upon as an expert in your field and should dress like one. (I get to wear jeans to work now…I know I am going to miss that) But my amazing sister-in law Thea gave me a great piece of advice when it comes to your work wardrobe. “It should be a uniform…who wants to spend all their money on clothes they wear to work.” Ahhh the light bulb went off. Yes, why am I spending hundreds of dollars to look good for people I work with. I want to use that money for our adventures. So I took her up on her advice and found my uniform. I am bringing 2 grey dress pants, 2 black dress pants, and 4 dress shirts that will be alternated. I am sure I will not love them after a few months, but at least I know what I am wearing every day.
This picture is of my work clothes and all of my shirts. Yup they are all here. I am sure I don’t even need this much.
I have fallen in love with the mini-skirt phenomenon and love wearing mini-skirts. So I am bringing all three that I own. 2 jean and 1 grey corduroy
4 pairs of shorts & 2 Capri’sI love these Capri’s they are kind of cargo-ish, but very comfortable and light material. (Again this might be too much)
And of course my capes…well that is what Zeek calls them. I actually have no idea what they are called, but I love them. I am bringing 3 capes and one semi-formal dress. ( Great for going in and out of air conditioning. If anyone knows what my capes are called please let me know. I am tired of feeling like superman.
My shoes..I have ditched high heels. Yup. I am 4’11” I am okay with it..are you? So these are my four pairs of shoes that I am bringing: brown Big Buddhas, black Aldo dress/work shoes, Puma tennis shoes, and of course my flip flops. They are all comfortable and no matter which pair I am wearing I feel great in all of them.
This wallet I bought when we were in Italy. It is a man’s wallet and is supper small. I love it.
A jacket for all occasions. I love this jacket and it might need a good dry-cleaning before we leave, but it has tons of pockets and is good in lots of climates.
Dresses…ahhh I lately have been loving dresses (when it is warm enough). Only one piece of clothing needs to be washed and you never have to worry about it matching anything else. Here are two of my favorite dresses.Now that you get the jist of my clothing and shoes.
Toiletries.This is was actually very easy because I only have a few items that I love to use. Now to some this may seem like a lot and to others it may seem like nothing. First off the case to carry all of my stuff in… obviously I love useful cases. This one not only zips up for easy travel but also hangs on the back of our bathroom door. It helps keep Lupita out of my make-up.
A few items that I love are from Bath & Body.I do love their Tea Tree line and recently have added their Vitamin C Serum into my daily face care (not because I wanted to). My Tide Pen…would not go anywhere with out it. That is all I have to say. Dove makes amazing hair spray and deodorant. Then of course Downy wrinkle releaser.
I love Bobbi Brown make up. This is what I am bringing with. Who knows if in a year this will still be what I use, but right now it is so I am going to bring it with.
So that basically finishes up what I am bringing. Haaahaa how funny. You may have noticed no jeans…well I am bringing 2 pairs of jeans. One doesn’t even deserve a picture and the other pair is getting hemmed because of course they are too long. But I do love them. My new Miss Me Jeans are sparkly and lots of fun.
We are only buying things that are of quality, we LOVE or really need (not usually fun), and fit in our nomadic lifestyle. If I lose my Miss Me jeansI won’t be upset or sad. Just a pair of jeans, but I will smile everytime I wear them. I don’t like heels so I am not going to wear them anymore. Basically only filling our lives with stuff that we want it to be filled with.
What about medicine…. well since I do have the MOST WONDERFUL MOTHER IN THE WORLD! We are all set. Check out one of our Christmas presents. She must have read my post about non-cluttering presents.
This is amazing and pretty. This beautiful eco-friendly bag came full of every medicine we would need. It also included band aids, alcohol wipes, carmex, neosporin, and on and on. Amazing!
My books….yes everyone keeps asking me ‘books’ huh? Probably because I work and live with IT people who don’t ever even use paper.
Remember all of our books must have a purpose or be something that we really love…like everything else.
1. The New Global Student by Maya Frost …you all know how much I love this book. Even though I have read it 4 times, it is coming with.
2. A New Earthby Eckart Tolle A great book about living in the moment and listening to your heart and not your head.
7. The Bilingual Edgeby Kendall King and Alison Mackey This is a great book (I just started reading) about how to help your children become bilingual & trilingual. We both believe that the more languages you can speak the better and intend on trying to learn Chinese as much as possible. This is the only book that I have found that speaks to all aspects of teaching your children a language that you yourself don’t know.
8. What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Get Ready for Kindergarten Since we plan on also doing some home schooling to make sure that Lupita and Abe keep their native English accent. We also want to encourage at home learning.
9. Instant Chinese with phonetic spelling…yes!
I have divided our packing up into 3 posts. This may be too much for everyone, but I couldn’t find any information on what a family should bring when going on an adventure of this magnitude. I hope that if other families would want to leave everything and travel for a year (or more) that they would find this helpful. If not, well at least you know every detail of our luggage and our belongings. Remember this is all that we are keeping.
Check out Besty and Warren on Married with Luggage. Here they review everything that they have packed for their trip. They talk about what changes they have made and what they would do differently. Great site!