As my departure date for studying abroad in London draws nearer, I have come to realize and appreciate the fine art of packing nearly four months of clothes into a single suitcase and a backpack. As someone who is used to a very quick trip where I can pack 2 or 3 outfits or a road trip where luggage space is no concern, it's been a satisfying challenge to almost scientifically determine exactly which clothing items are worth bringing. I had to make a pile for things that I wanted to bring but didn't have to, so I'll throw them in at the last minute if I have plenty of extra space (I imagine this whole pile will be staying at home). There is also the daunting pound limit of 50; it's surprising how fast a suitcase gets as heavy as 47 pounds (what I just weighed my suitcase at). In preparation for both London's weather and fashion trends, I have packed 11 pounds of pants (which is only 10 pairs—jeans are heavy!) Pants were the first thing I packed, and since then it has been a process of “if I have 11 pounds of pants and 2 weeks worth of socks and underwear, how many shirts should I bring? Will I ONLY wear sweaters? Certainly not, so how many t-shirts?” etc… Luckily, I was able to determine and pack many of the clothes I want to bring to London early because I simply don't need them in the climate in which I'm currently living. I'm curious to see if my commitment to dark/neutral-colored and warm clothing will clearly help me blend in in London or if it will seem like overkill; only time will tell.
I am certain, however, that the hardest part of packing, by far, has been trying not to obsess over it. Many times have I had to remind myself that, yes, there are in fact stores in London; if I need a new pair of gloves in the winter, there will be a place or two to find one. It has been important to remember that the clothes I pack will not be able to determine my success and happiness abroad. I think it’s easy to think otherwise since I’m moving to a whole new country with nothing but myself and the suitcase and backpack I’ll be clinging to. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who is fairly new to the whole traveling alone thing. Another helpful fact that I’ve had to remind myself of over and over again is that even though I will be alone on the plane, the second I get there, I’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who are all in the same boat as me; all alone—but together. That’s definitely one of the most exciting parts about studying abroad at this point in my journey. I can’t wait to meet the other students, some of whom very well may become life-long friends. We’ve all been waiting a long time for this, and now it’s finally here. See you soon, London!
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<p>Hi! I'm Sam and I'm from Denver, Colorado. I'm a junior at CU Boulder studying Musical Theatre and Computer Science. I love spending my time adventuring in the great outdoors, singing and playing piano, learning new languages, hanging out with friends, watching movies, and traveling as often as I can!</p>