Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Travel Post #2: Packing

I've always been a light packer. I prefer to use just a backpack for short trips, often times bringing less luggage than any guys I'm traveling with.

Well, my friends, that whole mentality goes flying out the window whenever the trip I'm packing for is longer than a week. For my four month stay in the wonderful country of France, I resisted the urge to pack every item of clothing I have ever owned. Ever.

After all, I have to pack for two seasons! I arrive in September, which in Arkansas means shorts and dresses, but leave in December, which means scarves and sweaters. Luckily for me, St. √Čtienne is cooler than Arkansas so I was able to leave all my shorts and dresses at home. It's currently in the 70s this week in St. Etienne-- I will be glad to leave behind the high 90s!

The cool to cold climate I'm going does simplify the packing process...somewhat. I'm allowed one 50 lbs checked suitcase and while the suitcase I have is cool and pretty, it's also small. And sweaters take up a lot of space. 

Enter the magic of space saving bags. We've all seen the commercials. Pack away your bulkiest possessions, attach a vacuum cleaner and BAM! it shrinks down before your eyes. And while it seems too good to be true, they really do work magic in person!

What I packed:

Large Space Saver Bag:
4 pants
1 jacket
1 scarf
1 tank top
8 sweaters

Medium Space Saver Bag:
1 jacket
5 sweaters
3 scarfs

Medium Space Saver Bag:
2 shorts
2 skirts
7 shirts
3 tank tops
1 pair of gloves
1 beanie

Gracie wanted to help :) just kidding, she wants to coat all my clothing with her fur so that everyone in France knows that I own a cat

Medium Space Saver Bag
8 shirts

2 pairs of tights
1 belt
1 scarf
1 pair of tennis shoes

1 pair of boots
camera cords

Did I overpack? Probably.

Do I care? Nope! My suitcase is still under the weight limit and everything fits. 

Of course, I can always buy things over in France but if I own a cute sweater already, I would rather take it with me as opposed to buying it over there. It's hard trying to gauge just how many sweaters you will wear in next month, how close the laundry mat will be, ect. I'm only bringing three pairs of shoes; I'm wearing my Chacos, and packing my tennis shoes and boots. I thought three was a reasonable number, but it was very difficult finding room for my bulky shoes.

It seems unreal than in five days I will be boarding a plane heading towards France! This weekend I'm heading down to Conway to hangout with some friends, since my flight leaves from Little Rock. It will be quite odd going back to Hendrix with everyone in school and not being involved in any of that.

I had a stressful morning when I went through a new packet of information from my school in France. As it turns out, I will be missing the orientation and the first day of classes-- though the coordinator assured me that it was no big deal. My ISEP paperwork lists a different starting day, which is why I'm flying over there when I am.

Oh well, c'est la vie. I'll find out when I get over there when I can take the placement test, if there is another orientation, and how much of my classes I have missed. So far it is looking pretty intense-- the first week I supposedly have class from 9-5 with a break for lunch. The program is called intensive language classes; I guess I shouldn't had skimmed over the intensive part.  ;)

Regardless, I will learn a lot-- like whether the indirect pronoun goes in front of the helping verb or the past participle, something I couldn't remember this afternoon.

But all that fun stuff will just have to wait!

Thankkksss for reading :)

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