Published on February 8th, 2011 | by Paz15
How to pack for a year abroad Part 3
We are now 8 days away from take off. We have been meeting with friends and family and saying our goodbyes. It is sad and exciting all at the same time. We love our friends and have such a great community of people around us. We are very blessed with the relationships that we have created here. We hope that we will create these same type of relationships in China. Find out how to pack for a year abroad. What are we bringing to make China feel like home? If you missed Part 1 and Part 2!
In the picture above you see some of the pictures we are bringing with us. I have been taking and printing lots of pictures and bought some picture frames to bring with us. For some this might not be necessary, however we have missed our pictures hanging on our walls the most. We really don’t miss a lot of what we have purged…but we do miss our kids baby pictures on the wall. For us it makes our house feel like a home. So we are bringing some with us. We are also bringing some picture books. Another benefit of purging is that it makes you rate the things that matter most to you. We probably never would have realized that we are so comforted by the pictures of our lives.
Games!! I love game night! We used to have game night every few weeks with a group of friends. It is great. You get to eat, drink, and play fun games. It is an activity that you can engage with people, you laugh, you might even cry because you laugh so hard. So we couldn’t leave with out a few games. We hope to have people over or going over to people’s houses on a regular basis. (We are social people) So we thought we would bring a couple games.
An old favorite Catch Phrase; his game follows Zeek and I back to the our dorm rooms in Chicago. It has stayed strong even now with two kids, we still can’t get enough of it. Some of our other college games, such as quarters have not. Our new favorite was introduced to us by my brother and sister in law, Thea and Andrew. They keep getting in these posts. Our new favorite game is Bananagrams. Many of you may have known about this game for years, but it is new to us. We are now addicted. Although it is still a little too advanced for Lupita, she loves helping with the letters and making words with us. It encourages her to learn new words. Both of these games are very compact and are going in the suitcase.
Movies….well I have to say that as much as I love socializing wtih people I love a good movie with my family cuddled up together just as much. I know that you can buy movies super cheap in China, (the black market for movies is still going strong) but we are bringing along some of our favorites.
Abe and Lupita’s favorites are: Finding Nemo and Beauty and the Beast. Abe might not know it yet, but he loves Beauty and the Beast. Zeek loves Sergio Leone‘s Spaghetti Westerns. If you haven’t watched them don’t tell him. He might make you sit down and watch them. So of course The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is coming with us. My favorites are Under the Tuscan Sun and Legally Blonde for obvious reasons.
Toys/Educational material for the kids.Since we get one suitcase for the both of them it has made us extremely selective on what the kids get to bring/keep. Every item must have a purpose. It must have a function that is beneficial for our kids. So what does that mean? It might be different for every family. For our family it means that every item must fit into a category: Art, Music, or Problem Solving. So does that mean that our kids have all boring toys…well no. They still get one doll and one truck. The majority of their belongings need to provide an educational component. Now we are bringing tutus…you might say how does this fit in. Well because our daughter loves to dance so she must have a tutu. See we are not crazy, just more conscience of what our kids get to keep. Think of all the toys your kids have and if you could only bring 5 which would they be? How much could you get rid of? Probably a lot. Try it for a week. Put all of the other toys in bags in the garage…I bet your kids won’t even notice.
Steri Pen….yes we are bringing a Steri Pen. Even though we do have a home that we will be going back and forth from we still thought it would be very beneficial to have a Steri-Pen. Our kids make liquids a whole food group in their diet. We buy more juice and soy milk than anything else. So we need to make sure that we have drinkable water at all times. We weren’t sure if we would get a Steri-Pen or not and then we saw a great review by Married with Luggage. They have been on the road for over 100 days and found this to be invaluable. Done. Bought it. I love good reviews.
Electronics….well considering I use to work for an Microsoft IT consulting firm and Zeek is a web developer we have enough electronics to probably power most small countries. Okay maybe not, but it feels like it. We are bringing:
- 2 laptops
- 2 mice (best ever)
- flip camera
- Nikon D3100 (2 extra 8gb HC memory cards)
- Canon Powershot (old camera)
- Small tripod for flip camera
- I-pod Touch
So there you have it in a nut shell what we are bringing. It has been a crazy process packing and repacking and did I mention that we have packed!
We have learned so much about possessions from this process.It has taught us that the things that we loved yesterday might not be good for us today. Letting go of things is hard, but the relief that it brings is well worth the struggle. Now we purchase in a much more utilitarian manner and look at articles for their use and being mobile. We also have realized that we should not skimp on things that we love. When you aren’t filling your life up with stuff it is amazing how much extra income is there for the things you love. i.e. sparkly jeans! I have two pairs of jeans now that I love! Yup…two! Before I had 6 that were okay… why fill my life up with okay…when we can fill it up with pure enjoyment.