Let me start by saying I am terrible at packing.
A simple overnight trip for me usually takes packing, unpacking, list-making and ends with me forgetting something. Anyone who has ever traveled with me for a weekend knows that nothing less than a jam packed suitcase will do. With that in mind, you can probably guess what it’s been like trying to pack for two years in two bags.
It’s my Everest.
I can take two checked bags that can be a maximum of 50 pounds each. That plus my carry-on bag is it. My whole life for two years has to fit in those bags.
The Peace Corps has provided guideline lists, suggesting sweaters, wool socks, and jeans. The problem is that I am, like many, a victim of the herd mentality when it comes to dressing myself. If I’m meeting up with friends, I want to know where we’re going, the entire itinerary and most importantly — what everyone else is wearing.
Jeans and sweaters doesn’t really cut it.
Then there has been advice from other volunteers. They’ve said we’ll likely bring more than we need and suggested that we under pack.
What?! How is it possible to pack too much in two suitcases?
So yeah. It’s been a challenge.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about what to take, but I’ve also gone through everything I own to determine what is worth packing away for two years while I’m gone. I’ve donated garbage bags full of clothes and other things I’ve accumulated. I’ve thrown away old notebooks that are still lingering from high school and earlier. I’ve also found a number of items that have me questioning whether I need to seek help for hoarding.
I’m still totally baffled about what will make the final cut for Macedonia. I do, however, know what isn’t going make it. These are the top five items I’ve discovered that won’t be making the trip with me:
1. The large bag of rainbow-colored butterfly clips. Shoutout to my model, Sarah Michelle Gellar.
2. The collection of beanie babies. (But I saved them, because they’ll definitely be worth something any day now.)
3. Enough Backstreet Boys books, pictures and other memorabilia to start my own sad, creepy museum. (If you’re lucky, you might get one of these postcards in the mail from me.)
4. My 50th Anniversary Wizard of Oz figurines. I was obsessed with these as a kid.
5. My embarrassingly large collection of Little Mermaid everything, including this charm bracelet.
I guess I better get back to packing. T-minus three days till the journey begins!