Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sitting in the Albuquerque Sunport

With my OCD instincts and Girl Scout training, packing one suitcase and one backpack for a year away from home has felt like a pretty daunting task, but one for which I have the essential skills. Articles and lists like this helped me, though most of the advice is pretty standard or I had already learned from my parents. (Except for that all-important "pack light" tip; mom and dad have always preferred "be prepared" over "pack light". I'm pretty sure they would take more than what's in my suitcase for a weekend vacation... ^^;;)
So, after careful consideration (and many weight tests on the bathroom scale), here is what I am taking with me:

3 pairs of jeans (two comfy and one slightly dressier black)
3 skirts (2 knee-length black and one dressier ankle-length black)
2 shorts (one pair of cut-offs and one pair of boy shorts I stole from my brother)
1 dress pants (black, that are super comfy and double as sleep wear)
1 yoga/sleep pants (comfy enough to sleep in and work-out in)
3 tank tops/camis (not only will it be 90*F plus humidity when I get there, these layer great in cold weather)
5 long sleeve shirts (my 4 favorites, plus my best cashmere turtleneck - I get cold easily)
10 short sleeve shirts (a mix of tee shirts and dressier blouses)
1 halter top dress (I couldn't resist my zebra print :p)
3 jackets (one white sweater jacket, one black fleece jacket, and my leather jacket. Again, I get cold...)
2 pairs shoes (red heels and dark walking shoes/sneakers- I intend to buy flip flops when I get there)
Enough socks and underwear for a over a week, 5 pairs of bras, and two pairs of wool socks, plus a warm hat, gloves, a swimsuit, my pashmina scarf and two belts.

(travel sized) - shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
disposable razor, wet wipes, a little roll of toilet paper, my contact stuff, a quick-dry towel, a cotton hand towel, girly supplies, chapstick, eyeliner, hair ties and scrunchies, hair brush and comb.

Laptop, charger, case
iPod, cord, radio tuner, earbuds
Camera, charger, case
External hard drive, thumb drive
Calculator (I may be taking physics while in Australia)
Australian cell phone and charger (I bought from a girl who just returned from UWA)
American cell phone and charger (to at least use in the airports)
Travel alarm clock (actually 2, to my minimalist embarrassment, one from my mom and one from my dad)
2 plug adapters (one 2 prong and one 3 prong)

Other stuff:
A few school supplies (pen, pencil, paperclips, sticky notes, erasers, lead, colored pencils, sharpener)

A tiny sewing kit (including leatherman scissors)
A tool kit (pocket mirror, leatherman, flashlight, handwarmers, a compass)
A first aid kit (ibuprofen, imodium, cipro, decongestant pills, theraflu strips, moleskin, a thermometer, tape, gauze, bandaids, triple biotic, salt, mint pills)
Gifts (a Balloon Fiesta placemat, balloon pins, a kokopelli journal)
A hollowed out dictionary (to hide small things)
A journal, a calendar (my Farm Boys from Warren Wilson, yay!),
A tea/honey/hot chocolate/EmergenC kit
A blanket (beebees are the best...)
A binder for all my important papers
Jewelry (just what fits into two very small boxes... this is an incredible feat for me)
A small down pillow in a fleece pillowcase (hard to sleep without it and it crushes pretty small)

2 (empty) water bottles (one nalgene and one collapsible bottle)
Sunglasses and a hard case for my eyeglasses

Guidebook (yes, the whole thing... I don't know where I might have the opportunity to visit!)

UNM course book (it can be haaaaaaaard to get transfer classes approved without course descriptions)

I'm pretty sure that's everything....
All this fits into one suitcase (28" tall), one 40 liter backpack, and one slim 17" laptop bag (which can be packed into the backpack or suitcase once I get to Perth and need to navigate public transportation). The suitcase weighs 46 lbs, and the backpack is something under my 15lbs weigh limit.

Now I've just got about 38 hours to spend in planes and airports. o_o;; With the 15 hours time difference, I'll be getting into Perth Friday evening.
Hellooooooo mister free wireless and movies saved to my hard drive.....


  1. Hey you, hope you enjoyed all the hugz.

    Missing you,

  2. Woohoo! Good luck, travel safe, and check in with us when you get there!


    seriouslY? maybe it's cause your tiny, but I'd swear I wouldn't be able to fit that many clothes in one suitcase....or did i- but i think if I did, it was cause you packed it for me.. :D
    you'll have a blast!

  4. Wow, great job packing, Meila! I'll need to remember this when I pack for just 1 semester in Italy. I'm more like your 'rents. Better to be prepared, but that's mostly an excuse... Ha ha.

    Hope the long trip isn't too bad!

  5. Wow, I'm impressed. I'm a lot like you in the sense that I tend to overpack than pack light. It sounds like you're ready for an awesome time! Thanks for keeping us updated :)

  6. "SWEET 70s ROCK! You must be ready to explode!" Why did I not know about this comic earlier?

    Love the list--it'll make my job packing much easier :-D And major props for packing all that and still having extra space (well, weight). I tend towards the "be prepared" over "pack light" philosophy myself...