PACKING!!! It is often described as the beginning of the end by many Peace Corps Invitees. In many cases it is. As I stood in the middle of my living room with luggage, clothes, books, etc. scattered all around, it finally become real that I would be leaving for two years. How to begin the task of downsizing our lives into two pieces of luggage. Not to mention find a place to store the things that we are not taking with us (thanks mom). For Em and I packing has become somewhat of a daunting but stress free task. Having pack up all our possessions into a Nissan Sentra and move has been an annual thing for us.
Eric ‘noitemleftbehind’ Aiken
12 years of professional packing
Style: Modified Army (‘let me plan it out’)
Biggest Packing Moment: packing a two bedroom apartment into a Nissan Sentra and driving it 12 hours to another state.
Emily ‘spacefinder’ Aiken
8 years of professional packing
Style: grab-n-stuff (‘oh it will fit’)
Biggest Packing Moment: Packing two people’s summer possessions plus wedding gifts into a Nissan Sentra in under 2-hours and taking it another state (all before the honeymoon).
Much like me, I know that there will be future volunteers surfing the internet looking for what to bring (and what not to bring). What I want to offer you is some help on many levels. Below you will find my words of advice and our packing list.
- If you are traveling as a married couple make a list together, but remember that you must pack separately in case you are split up for a period of time (I am thinking mostly clothing here). There are some things, such as sun block, medicine, entertainment items, and toiletries that you can split the duty of packing but still share later.
- You can fit a lot of things into a suitcase. The important thing is to the think about the weight of both the items you’re packing and your luggage. Line these up correctly and you should come in underweight.
- Warning: go easy on researching what others have brought in the past. It is important to look at what others have done before you but you must pack to your own needs as well. With that said here are a few blogs (Nomaddict, Ucdkiliclimb, mkellyecuador) that really helped us create a packing list. Also remember when the people above wrote this blog they were in the same position as you (waiting to leave). Here is one the bloggers follow up blogs after being there for a year. Nomaddict
- Our packing philosophy: if you can get it there, then leave it here. I don’t believe in wasting money or resources, but in this case you should only take what you cannot live without and buy as you go. Who knows you might find out that ‘need’ is really just a ‘want’.
- Here is our packing list. I think it can be helpful to men, women, and married couples. Good luck and Good vibes as you pack.
If I'd known how much I'd have to do, I'd have run again.
I know I said sometimes I wear clothes but apparently I lied...I'm only swimsuits.