I guess I can no longer avoid the inevitable: packing. I've been putting this off for, oh, 3 weeks. "But, seriously, how am I supposed to pack that far in advance? I'll need stuff between now and then!" Alas, "then" has arrived...
My plan involves 1 checked bag, less than 50lb, 1 carryon suitcase, and 1 personal item (backpack!) Since I will be living in a motel for the first week and a half til I get my apartment, I decided to pack my essentials in my carry on, and avoid getting into my checked bag until I get to the apartment. And all my valuable technology goes in the backpack.
In the 3 weeks I've been starting to pack, I've been just dumping things on the spare room bedroom as I remember I need them. Today, I had to sort thru the mess and actually get it in a bag. Thank goodness my dad is a Tetris master, and packing is basically the same thing.
I kept feeling like I hadn't chosen too much to take. I know that there will be plenty for me to buy there; I wear a small enough size clothing that I will find my size there, and shoes are also available for my size 7. (Shoes only go up to a women's size 8 there...!) Toiletries will be fairly easy to find as well. I am making a point to take my Bumble&Bumble hair products and 3 sticks of deodorant. Supposedly you can find it easily now, but I'd rather pay $0.88 at CVS than $10 at E-Mart in Seoul.
Basically, I'm attempting to bring enough of everything (or almost everything) and not too much of anything. I figure, I can bring what I need, when I run out, I'll buy more there. If I can't find anything I do need, I'll have enough time with my small supply to order more online or ask mom to send to me. Must be smarter than the suitcase...
I decided to try the "Army Roll" for my clothing in my carryon. Here is the link if you want to watch the video on this... It worked pretty well, but I'm not convinced that it created a significantly greater amount of space than my usual space bags. Oh well. No harm, no foul. For my checked bag, I packed normally....
In my carryon, I also packed several small bags, a tooth bag (toothbrush, trial size toothpaste, floss, etc), a hair bag (trial size shampoo, conditioner, testers of hair products, etc). I also packed an extra pair of shoes. The ones I am wearing on the plane are great, but I'd like to have an extra pair for that first week.
Speaking of shoes, I packed only like 4 pairs. I am wearing silver snakeskin flats on the plane (totally worn out, will prob throw away before returning home), packed my silver crochet Toms in my carryon, and in the checked bag, 1 pair of Sperry's, 1 pair of worn out New Balance, and ... well, I think that's it! I plan to buy my fall/winter boots there, as well as rainboots and hiking shoes. Luckily, I will be living in the same neighborhood as Dongdaemun Market, where I will have access to 24 hour shopping at 23 malls, 30,00 vendors, 50,000 manufacturers. Um, Yes.... this is real. And all within 10 blocks. *heaven!* So, being a "normal" Korean size, I am confident in my ability to get cheap, fashionable shoes in my neighborhood.
I also decided to pack my Canon Rebel DSLR camera and extra lens in my checked bag. I'm not so sure about this decision, but my dad says he got it extremely snug, it's in it's special packaging, and my suitcase is a hard-side. So, cross your fingers it stays safe.
Once I got everything stuffed in my checked bag, sorted out what to put in the carryon, we attempted to weigh this sucker. The limit is 50lb... this stupid thing was 55lb!!! So, we had to eliminate a few things... most of this consisted of vitamins and medicine, school supplies, and some electronic converters and stuff. My mom says we will just pack the stuff up and mail it out this week. So, I'll just have to wait for it and hope I don't need my Aleve Cold and Sinus between now and when it arrives. I think I'll be okay!
So, at this point, I have successfully got everything confined to 2 suitcases (1 significantly smaller than the other), and a backpack. I still have a few things to put in: makeup, hair products, all stuff I need on the morning I leave to get ready. And a few tops are in the wash, so they will get stuffed in the carry on as well. That checked bag is not getting touched, 49lb is incredible!!!!
At this point, I am trying to soak up every moment with my parents possible... and, trying to not have a panic attack.