“He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery
A common question that many people have asked me is, “How do you pack for a year?” It’s a question that I even asked myself many times. Now that I’ve got most of my “stuff” packed away, I can tell you that it’s really not that hard. The overall thought of having to put your life into a couple suitcases is extremely overwhelming, but in the long haul, it’s quite easy and only took me a few hours (all thanks to Space Bags, Ziploc bags, and lots of strenuous pushing and saying “YOU WILL FIT!”). Throughout the past month or so, I’ve made numerous lists of things I needed and didn’t want to forget. A good chunk of the items on those lists ended up not going in the suitcases. It’s a true statement when they say to lay out all your clothes and only take half of them. That’s exactly what I did.
The greatest part of packing for AmSam was knowing that I’ll be living in a hot and humid climate. I am only bringing 2 pairs of pants (and chances are, I won’t even wear them). My clothes consist of knee-length shorts, skirts, and dresses (remember AmSam is very conservative), lots of cotton tank tops and t-shirts, and a few light, long-sleeve tops. When I packed for NZ, I had heavy sweatshirts, lots of long sleeves, and pants. That added a lot of weight to my suitcase. Thanks to the tropical island temperature, my clothes barely weigh anything.
Here’s a list of the Top 5 “Can’t Live Without” Items in each of my bags:
1. Snorkel gear
2. Hiking shoes – for climbin’ mountains!
3. Flip flops in every color
4. Teva Waterproof Reef shoes – most beaches in AmSam are made of broken coral. Ouch!
5. 9 (haha) pairs of socks and undies
(Do you notice the theme?)
2. Toiletries (bug spray, sunscreen, deodorant, facewash…etc.)
3. Running shoes
4. Classroom stuff!
5. Books for beach reading J
1.Electronics: laptop, underwater camera (can’t wait to use that!), external hard drive, Flip video camera, iPod
2. Extra set of clothes – We’re staying in a hotel in LA, so I had to pack clothes for my flights to Hawaii and AmSam!
3. Reading book, Sudoku book, paper, pens
4. WorldTeach Volunteer Resource Manual – we’ll need this for orientation
5. Snacks – candy (thanks to Bobbi, Kathy, and Connie!!), almonds, etc.
PURSE (I wouldn’t really call it that, but I don’t know what else to call it- it’s a “Healthy Back Bag”)
1. Wallet - money, driver’s license, phone card, debit card, etc.
2. Passport – even though it’s a U.S. Territory, I’ll need it for other South Pacific travels!
4. Camera (not for underwater use!)
5. Important paperwork
Countdown: 6 days till LA, ONE WEEK till AMSAM!
And now, some pictures!
A few of the books that made the cut. Used copies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy are on their way!
Holy toiletries! Check out the bug spray/anti-itch/I hate mosquitoes section.
Not many people get to wear flip flops every day of the year! : )
I can't wait to snorkel! I'm loving all my fun gear.