A few years ago at uni I had my year abroad in Madrid (the best year of my life so far) as an Auxiliar de Conversación (English Language teaching assistant). It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it. I made some mistakes along the way but the important thing is that these lessons are helping me to embark on my new journey to Italy.
Lesson 1: Don’t over pack!
I took my case on the plane and had a big box sent over to me. There was simply no need for all the clothes I took! I think I forgot Spain has clothes shops, many of them and lets face it Zara is a girls best friend especially when they have huge sales after Christmas!
This time I am taking just my weight allowance. I am avoiding taking a lot of dresses, otherwise it will look like I am wearing the same clothes all the time (which is simply a no-no in the most fashion conscious country in the world) . I have loads of tops and a few different trousers, jeans and skirts.
Lesson 2: Leave the beauty products at home!
Do you really think you need 9 months worth of your favourite shampoo?
The majority of your beauty products can be found in other countries with a few exceptions. Chances are you don’t need to stock up on your favourite mascara or lipstick as most companies are international and if you can’t find them there will be an equivalent. The same applies to conditioner, face wash and moisturiser.
Lesson 3: Books
I took quite a few books with me to Spain thinking I would have plenty of time to sit and read…wrong! When you are in a new country there are so many opportunities to go out and meet people. They may be fellow expats or tandem partners, either way you will have a busy social life meaning reading time will be cut down and they will take up space in your suitcase for more important items. The best thing is to either invest in a kindle or a tablet and download the amazon kindle app. So it won’t matter if you have many books because they won’t cut your weight allowance.
Lesson 4: Take those can’t live without items from home!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to take those items. You will get at least a little bit homesick and those can’t live without items could possibly cure it.
I wish I took marmite with me to Spain as I missed it like crazy!
Make sure that you take pictures of family and friends to decorate your room to give it a homely feel.
So the main lesson is don’t take too much unnecessary junk because you won’t have space for all the new items you will collect from your travels. After all you if you forget something you can buy a replacement in a shop which would be cheaper than paying excess baggage fees.
What items do you recommend not to pack and why? Comment below 🙂