Packing List: Becoming Mary Poppins

I thought it was about time I actually debuted what’s going to be packed into my 3 suitcases. Because I’m not just going to be traveling, but living in Korea during all four seasons, there’s more here than I would normally pack.

1.5 suitcases will hold all my clothes.

Everything is here, excluding undergarments and some last minute laundry, which includes a couple of tank tops. The first column is strictly business clothing for work. 1 suit jacket, 3 button up blouses (each with different sleeve lengths), 2 skirts (one each for warm or cool weather), 2 trousers and pantyhose. 

The second column is all about staying warm. My 4-in-1 winter coat, 1 sweater, 1 pull over, 1 pair of long johns, and 1 pair of yoga pants. Not pictured is my body scarf. Originally, I was going to bring a Trinity hoodie and my Harvard sweatpants. I realized with all the layering I could do, if I was REALLY going to be that cold in my apartment, something would be wrong. I can wear 2-3 layers on top or bottom when I’m lounging in my new place and have a blanket I can wrap around myself if truly necessary. That probably took away a good 3-5 pounds off my luggage, yay!

The third column is loosely devoted to long sleeves and warm accessories. The hoodie at the bottom is intended to give away to one of my best friends currently working in Korea. We swapped hoodies in high school for a long while and that was the one I let her borrow. 2 long sleeves, gloves, 1 pair of hiking socks, 1 pair of warm lounge socks, 1 beanie. For the most part, I’m not too worried about my lack of long sleeved shirts. I can always slip my knit shirt underneath a t-shirt and be warm, and put on any pullover or sweater on top of that. No worries.

The fourth column is for summer time. 5 t-shirts, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of convertible hiking pants, 1 pair of shorts, 1 dig shirt, 1 dress, 2 swim suits, 1 wrap. I wanted to keep my casual shirts as plain as possible so I could wear them either to work or while I’m out on the town. Versatility is a win-win. The one shirt that isn’t plain is my Jackson MS shirt, which I received my first semester of student teaching. My plan is to wear it on The Great Wall so I can reconnect with my students on the material we learned while I was their teacher. They’re very excited about it. Now, I’m not sure if I should worry that I’m only bringing one pair of jeans. I might reconsider that and pack a secondary pair, though they are extremely casual and I would never wear them to work. I figured with the two skirt options I have and the variety of shirts I can pair them with, I wouldn’t need more than one dress to take with me. (Now, shopping while I’m there is another topic entirely.)

That is for the school year. Once my contract is completed, I will be getting rid of at least 2 pieces in the first column and from 4-5 pieces in the fourth column. I will then be shipping the remainder of my business attire, my sweater, half of my 4-in-1, my long sleeves, and about half of the fourth column home to my parents. That will leave me with the following for traveling fun:

  • 1 skirt, 1 set of long johns, 1 jacket, Swimming gear, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of hiking pants, 1 sleeping set (basically tank and boxers), 3-4 shirts, Undergarments

5 pairs of shoes

I do not consider myself to be much of a shoe person. I love shoes, but because I have super high arches and really bad ankles, I find it difficult to actually find shoes I not only like, but fit well, look good, are comfortable and useful. That being said, I really am amazed that I’m bringing 5 freaking pairs of shoes with me. My hiking boots have barely been broken in after having bought them almost two years ago. My tennies are still pulling their weight, but I expect this will be their last journey and I’ll be getting rid of them upon my return to the states if not sooner. My sport sandals have been abroad with me before and while they’re not as easy as flip flops, they’re definitely more stable. (Oh yeah, they leave these awesome tan lines too.) The heels are my most comfortable pair, which means I can wear them during work or play. I don’t know yet if I’ll keep them after I’m done or not, but if so, I’ll be shipping them back to the States. My flats have been through a lot; they are my teacher shoes. The best $75 I have ever spent on working shoes. They’re Naturalizers and believe me, well worth the comfort they give your feet after 8 hours on your toes. Still, they’re pretty beat up, and I will more than likely end up getting rid of them before leaving for my other travels. I just hope there’s a similar pair when I get back Stateside. Overall, I’m hoping to say goodbye to at least two pairs of shoes, so then I will be taking my hiking shoes and sport sandals with me for sure and possibly my tennies.


Now comes the more space consuming aspect of my packing. Before I go into some added detail of what I’ve included, I want to start off by saying I didn’t bring a pillow with me when I studied abroad for 6 months. I only had a blow up neck pillow. Let me tell you, it was a rarity that I ever slept comfortably until I borrowed a real pillow from a friend. I learned my lesson, and though I normally hate it when people bring pillows with them on the plane or to the airport, I’m going to have to swallow my pride (or at least stuff it in a suitcase) and pack it. I’m bringing my own set of sheets from college for my bed in the apartment, and I will be trashing them once my contract is finished. The same is said for my blue towel and possibly my throw. I will be shipping back my pillows to the States while keeping my hostel bed cover and microfiber towel. So, I’ll only be traveling with about a 1/4 of what’s pictured when all is said and done.

As for toiletries, many of the girls I’ve talked to have said to bring a year’s supply of feminine products. Generic pepto-bismol and ibuprofen will be godsends as always. I’ll be bringing an extra toothbrush and likely some travel size laundry detergent. Since I’ll be living there, I’m not too horrendously worried about finding all of what I need. I need to focus on having enough for the first 6 weeks or so and then I can worry about the travel necessities when I comes closer to that timeframe in 2012. I am definitely not leaving without my knee, ankle and wrist braces.

So there you have it. Will everything fit? You bet it will. Is it too heavy to carry? Well, as long as I can carry things to the airport, from the airport, and into my new place, I’m going to say it’s fine. I’ll be backpacking later, so it will definitely be light enough by then.