When You Might Be Wondering How I Packed for the Eastward Journey

You might be wondering how I packed for one year overseas. (I hope that you are! Since that’s what I’m writing about today. :)) Overseas travel every summer and weekend trips taught me how to pack fairly light . . . really because I didn’t want to embarrass myself by being the kid with the huge bag. So it was without even blinking an eye that I decided to only check one bag when I moved to Thailand. I ended up being successful: I checked one rolling duffle bag (49 pounds, which is one pound below the maximum before you have to pay an overweight fee), and I carried a backpack and purse onto the planes.

All in all, these are the basics of what I brought with me:
-3 solid tanks
-4 sweaters
-6 solid V-necks
-4 pencil skirts
-2 ankle-length skirts
{So far this has all been to mix and match for work outfits.}
-2 sleeveless shirts
-1 long-sleeved white blouse
-1 long-sleeved black, flowered blouse
-1 blazer
-1 sweatshirt
-1 raincoat
-7 dresses
-1 pair of jeans
-A few workout outfits
-A few pairs of shorts
-2 t-shirts
-2 bathing suits

As for shoes . . . Rainbows (flip-flops), Keens (hiking shoes), Vibrams (running shoes), black flats, and cheetah-print flats.

Other than that, I did bring a heap of toiletries – even though I knew full well they were not necessary to bring. Thailand has at least one 7Eleven on every corner, and it’s not difficult to find what you need. But my skin is very sensitive, and I’m a little particular about what products I use, so I brought lots of deodorant, makeup, razors, and toothpaste. I brought a few bottles of nail polish and the toiletries I was already using in the States (shampoo, conditioner, hair products) as treats to help me get acclimated.

In all honesty, after being here for one month, I can say that I brought everything I needed, maybe even more. (For example, I rarely wear the solid V-necks, and I’ve only worn two dresses so far.) The program I came with placed me in an awesome apartment, which is furnished with a big bed, bedding, pillows, a refrigerator, a nightstand, a long desk with shelving, a smaller desk with shelving, a big closet, a bathroom, and a patio (where the sink is located, actually). So, I barely had to buy anything to settle in. AKA all I bought during the first week (for my apartment, at least) was two rugs, cleaning supplies, and a laundry basket. I didn’t even need to buy a clock, cups, or silverware until last week. I live within walking distance of a number of great, open-air, local restaurants. I live within walking distance of the school where I work. Really, really, I want for nothing.

If you’re moving overseas anytime soon – or even taking a short-term trip overseas – I encourage you to bring as little as possible. I promise you won’t need as much as you think you will. I’ve found that the key is to bring a lot of solid-color clothes that you enjoy wearing because you’ll be able to mix and match (which creates more outfits than you’d expect) and feel good about yourself too. Easy as pie! You can do it!

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