AHHHHHHHH! I hate packing. I wish I could just close my eyes and magically make the clothes I need appear. After being a habitual last minute packer for my enter life I tried to change that pattern and gain better habits. That failed miserably. I am sitting here one day away from leaving to go to South Africa and I don’t know what to pack.
The art of packing while on a volunteer trip is to not bring your entire life with you. I am going over to help others, not make a fashion statement. I have to be mindful of the countries customs and social preferences for women before I choose any thing. I will be packing everything I need for the next 6 months into my Osprey Aura 50 hiking pack. This Osprey pack is lightweight, comfortable and can easily fit exactly what is needed. I have packed, unpacked, and packed again before getting the right combination of clothes to take.
My philosophy while packing is, “If I don’t wear it in America I’m not going to wear it in a foreign country.” Different traveling blogs, such as NomadicMatt, and HerPackingList, gave helpful tips and guidelines for the ultimate packed bag. The main thing is to pack for the weather. In South Africa it is summer time, Thank God I am tired of the cold!
Here are the clothes I will be living with for 6 months:
Clothes and things
- 5 light weight t-shirts for volunteering at the orphanages
- 3 casual t-shirts for working out
- 2 Columbia Omni-shade button down – easy for hiking
- 2 long pants- 1 Columbia hiking pants that is light weight
- 2 long length shorts (fingertip length)
- Columbia rain jacket- light weight and comfortable
- 3 work out shorts
- 2 floor length skirts- for a casual event or church
- 1 Track/ yoga pants – for travel days
- 1 bathing suit
- Chacos– outdoor sandals, great fro all occasions
- Running shoes- Adidas, durable and light weight
- Travel sized: lotion, deodorant, conditioner, and other medicines- I will pick up what I need in Cape Town.
With this packing list I am able to dress for any occasion, whether it is the orphanage, hiking, church or anything else that may happen. This is a very nerve wrecking experience and I am ready to embrace it. As my very first trip abroad I am ready for anything. The day to leave is finally almost here.
P.S. instead of packing I started coloring. here is my picture: