Packing has always been low on my priority list no matter how long the trip, and this is no exception. If anything, packing to spend a year abroad is much more challenging as you must condense your life in whatever suitcases you have (unless you are luck enough to afford long term storage). I will admit to being an over-packer or useless packer in the sense that I usually bring a lot of things that I don’t end up needing.
That being said, I am still struggling to detox my life. It is a process to take survey of your life and go through the various things that you have collected since middle school and then decide what you can, need and really should part with. After all, what use will my elementary school medals for Figure Skating or my middle/high school ribbons for Track & Field be in my next chapter in Korea. Have I looked over them in the past years? Not really, yet it’s a part of me that I can’t quite throw away. That aside, I came up with categories for packing over the past week that I figure would be a decent start before I began to pack and from there I could expand in my next post.
The list is as follows:
- Toiletries/make up
- Work out/sports
- Home decor.
With the Christmas season in swing and my last semester of university coming to an end, I have neglected to post updates on the visa status and what the next 6 weeks will hold. To cut to the chase, I did receive my visa and I was all sorts of happy and wistful as I looked at it but I can say with certainty that I haven’t had a doubt about going on this journey. I’ve found inspiration at every corner and even in the most random of moments to light my way. However, there are the few questions that I think many soon to be ex-pats hear or will hear and I want to address some of those now.
For starters, I often hear, “Korea? Like North Korea?” which to no end makes me scratch my head in wonder and to which I usually reply sardonically, “Yes, that exact one except a bit more to the south.” Another thing is that in the US when you tell people you’re going to teach English abroad their first thought is that you are going to Spain, France or Italy (basically somewhere European) because even though it is foreign, you won’t necessarily feel out of place. So once I tell them, “No, I decided to teach in South Korea”, I inevitably get the follow up “Why?”.
If you have read my previous blog then you know why and I won’t bore you by repeating myself. However, I think the “why” is an important topic to mull over in making a decision to live outside your home country. That “why” needs to be something, a feeling or goal (etc), that can pull you up when you hit low points or when you need affirmation that you made the right choice to up and move.
With that in mind, I’ve begun to start to thinking about what I need to wrap up in the States and what I need to get ready to go. I, like many other people, am a notorious over-packer so before I leave I will make sure I make a list of all that I am taking. Once, I’ve been in Korea for a couple of months I can update everyone on what actually was a necessity and what was just my anxiety about being unprepared talking.
Until next time!