Packing and Anticipating

Emma Pulido
February 27, 2013

After going to college halfway across the country for 2.5 years and going to summer camp since age ten, you’d think I was a great packer. Wrong. Packing is overwhelming no matter how many times you do it. Every semester, I pack my life into two suitcases and ship off to Minnesota.  At the end of last semester, my two housemates who also travel to school by plane and I purged our closets in order to be able to clear our rooms and transport everything back to our respective hometowns.  An embarrassing number of filled paper shopping bags, ready for Goodwill, came to cover the floor our dining room as our three other Minnesotan housemates looked on in relative horror. It’s hard, but I have come to appreciate the simplicity of a suitcase and the ability to pack everything I need into something compact and easily transportable. While I am a self proclaimed bag lady, I love the elegance of the idea of simply packing and going. Yet each time I must do it, I am still overwhelmed. I am quite aware that I am focusing all my energies and anxieties – about speaking spanish, about living abroad, and about meeting all new people-onto the menial task of packing, but it is what it is. This time, heading south instead of north, I am determined to bring 1.5  suitcases and thus my room is in shambles. My sister, who makes her bed everyday, would be very upset if she saw what I turned out living space into. And yet even as I attempt the impossible – packing clothes for three seasons and four months in a rather small red suitcase- I cannot help but be excited. My room is cluttered with memorabilia – small colored scarves from Valparaiso, bead and bell bracelets from Chaing Mai, sand from Tel Aviv, sandals from Jerusalem, a mochilla from Medellín. More than things or souvenirs, these objects are each attached to a memory, a moment, a story, the person I was when I came into contact with them. They came on adventures with me, and were witness to the amazing things I have seen and experienced. All the clothes I am packing into impossibly small nooks and crannies will soon be associated with new streets, new people and new sights.  I can’t wait to finally land, walk down the cobble stone streets of my new neighborhood of San Telmo, and finally realize what I have been waiting for for so long. As the semester progresses, I’ll be photo blogging – stay tuned as Buenos Aires turns from a far off dream into a reality!

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Emma Pulido

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I&#39;m Emma Pulido and I am spending my semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina! I&#39;ve been waiting to go to Buenos Aires since a high school trip to Valparaiso, Chile got me interested in the Southern Cone countries and I couldn&#39;t be more excited to finally be here. I&#39;m from New York City, but am currently living in Saint Paul Minnesota, where I study International Studies, Anthropology and Political Science at Macalester College. I&#39;ve been focusing my studies on identity politics and tourism, so living abroad in one of South America&#39;s most mixed and dynamic cities is perfect for me! I hope to continue to study identity politics and nation building in post conflict nations post graduation, but for now I keep busy with school, Model United Nations, watching movies, exploring new places, making DIY craft projects with my roomates and my job as the student photographer for Macalester.</span></p>

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