People sometimes move. They move to pursuit their dream job, their family or their life dream. I would have never guessed I would move abroad, and definitely not alone. To those of you who have done this, you know this is not an easy job to do and for sure you cannot pack your entire life and just go.
After living abroad in two different countries, other than my homeland, I can give you some tips on How To Pack Your Life Into a Suitcase.
Drop the idea of packing everything
As I stated before, packing is no easy job and it requires some skills and most importantly requires a good understanding of self.
With each trip I take, I learn about myself and it all starts the minute I start packing.
You need to get smart about space, because you have a limited space, and you have to fit everything in a suitcase. The first question I ask myself is not “What should I get out of the closet?”. Instead, I ask myself “What will I be doing there? What is my purpose?”. As this journey begins, the learning process develops.
I start to research about my destination, trying to find out the possibilities and options I have there. Whenever possible I ask people who are already there, what is it like, what do they do and that’s how I get an idea about the environment.
I’m not talking about a one week holiday to some island, but about the things I need to continue my day-to-day life.
If you are looking for tips on how and what to pack for a short holiday, see also how to pack a backpack in 30 minutes.
Things are just objects you can buy anywhere
One great lesson I learnt is that all the things we surround ourselves are just objects which can be bought.
I learnt it the hard way, literally, after carrying heavy and unnecessary stuff on the other side of the globe. And I wasn’t even moving there. Don’t do that!
Remember that most stuff you can buy in your country is not even made in your country! Is is possible that you can find the same stuff at your destination even cheaper because it can be manufactured there or perhaps closer to their country of origin.
One great thing travel does is that it teaches you about yourself, and it often reveals you don’t need half of the stuff you believe are essential to you. Just remember the last time you were gone for 1 week, and you packed stuff like crazy and when you got back home you realised you used only 5 shirts from the 20 you packed.
What to pack
This will be different for each and every one of us. Some will pack photos with loves ones and friends, while others may pack their favourite shoes they only worn once.
We pack our dreams, memories and other small stuff that have no meaning to someone else.
What I consider packing before everything is else are those things which mean something to me and cannot be bought. Have you ever heard someone saying “This is priceless!”?. And probably they were talking about an action someone made or a cute hat they saw in a shop. And probably you though they are talking nonsense. But they were not! People see the world and express themselves through their own values and beliefs.
Pack smart and pack small! You have to be smart with your space since you cannot put a price on your dearest objects and memories. We sometimes transpose memories into objects, so that’s why you start with this stage when packing!
Prioritize! Make space for important stuff! And remember that what is important to you will not be important to anyone else! (ok, just 1 favourite t-shirt!) So, What is Important to YOU?
There is no suitcase big enough
There is no point in packing stuff you just think you need, like 10 pairs of shoes and 10 dresses. I think I’ve made it clear by now this is not how you pack you life into a suitcase!
No matter how little you want to take with you, probably it’s too much. Keep in mind your life will continue anyway. You will buy new clothes, and shoes when you need it. There is no such thing as “I’ll pack it just in case!”. What’s the point? It’s so much more complicated, it’s just not worth it. The only things you need are those things you use right now. Even at home, you may have tons of clothes but you have a few which you often wash and wear. Same goes for shoes, seasonal clothes and objects.
My motto is:
Fill your life with adventures. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Don’t just carry stuff for the sake of carrying them, because you have space or because you have money to pay for 10 extra suitcases to carry them.
Everything requires energy to be transported, even you! In the end, it’s our planet and we need to take care of it! Don’t describe the place you would like to live in, but make it.
The real hard part about packing most don’t realise
There is one task which gave me a hard time: packing my relationships. My family and my friends. Sure there is Facebook and Skype and all the other online social environments, and we have phones. But communication in its true sense is the one we have face to face. And that will never be replaced by anything.
So I packed the next best thing: my laptop.
One of my most priceless belonging, my best friend and the portal to anything I want it to be.
Of course, you will meet new people and make new friends. You will get new hobbies and habits. But then you realise it needs people who are dear to you to make it great!
And one other thing:
The moment I separated the small material stuff I used to fill my life with, from my goal, was the moment I knew what to do with my life!