Packing for one year

It’s officially my last week in Norway before going to Brazil and the days are passing by so slowly! On Monday I had my last driving lesson before the test on Thursday, I had a coffee with a friend from university, I went to the university to print some papers for the police registration (when I get to Brazil), I had dinner with another friend and then I passed by my cousin’s house to deliver some keys. I did so many things, but it was still Monday when I went to bed.

So, what do you do during your last week home before moving to another continent for one year? Well, you meet friends and family, you eat food you’re not going to eat for a while, you fix the last couple of practical things and you pack your suitcase. And then you get bored because everyone else have a life and you’re just waiting for yours to begin…


I mentioned that I packed my suitcase, which can be a very challenging task, haha! I usually start by planning everything in my head, deciding what I can live without or buy when I get to my new city. Here are my best tips:

  • Most of your personal hygiene products can be bought all over the world. Maybe they don’t have the exact same brand, but the products are quite similar in my experience. Brands like Nivea and Garnier can be found almost everywhere.
  • One pair of each type of shoes is enough. As in, one pair of sandals, one pair of sneakers, one pair of running shoes, one pair of boots etc. Remember that shoes are heavy and that if you need new ones they probably have very similar ones where you’re going.
  • Towels and bed linen are not necessary. They can be bought all over the world and are usually provided wherever you’re going. If they aren’t, you can buy the cheapest kind because you’re only going to use it for a maximum of 12 months anyway.
  • A maximum of 2 books. I’m a book lover too, but there are more important things for you to take with you, like underwear… Haha, I’m kidding, but books can be bought everywhere, like everything else on this list, and if they’re in the language of the country you’re moving to, that’s just a great learning opportunity! Embrace it!
  • Your favorite clothes are the only ones you should bring, in my opinion. You know the clothes you wear for one extra day even though you know you should have trown them in the laundry? And the jeans you always choose over the others no matter what.
  • Think about the climate. Are you going to Australia where there’s no winter? Or to Norway where we have white winter and green winter (winter and summer, respectively)? Websites like Wikipedia or Lonely Planet can show you the monthly average temperatures and amount of rainfall for many places around the world. For example for São Paulo here (Wiki) and here (LP).
  • Packing strategy is very important. I learned how to pack clothes efficiently a couple of years ago from a friend of mine who’s a flight attendant. You should roll and not fold your clothes! That minimizes the amount of air between the layers and you get more room in your suitcase. I usually start by having one layer of rolled up clothes on the bottom of the suitcase, then I put one layer of shoes and then more rolled up clothes. If you push the clothes down and around the shoes you’ll have even more room in the suitcase! I hope you understood.
  • Valuable items like cameras, laptops, tablets, watches, jewellery etc. should always be carried in your hand luggage. I read through my insurance the other day looking for some other information and I read that they won’t pay you back if you didn’t have your valuables with at all times and they specified that that means in your hand luggage. I’ve put my camera and my tablet in my suitcase before…  Many times. Ooops!
  • Bonus tip: clean underwear, a toothbrush and toothpaste should always be carried in your hand luggage. Just trust me on this one, in case your luggage gets lost or you get stuck somewhere for hours (or days…). Not cool.

I feel like the strictest person right now, haha! This is the fourth time I’ve been packing for a stay of 4 months or more, and I like to think that I’ve picked up a thing or two about what you actually need to take with you. I might have forgotten something, so please tell me if you have any other good tips!

Have to get back to waiting for Friday to arrive now. See you soon!

– Guro

En kommentar om “Packing for one year

  1. Olá! (é, vou comentar em português 😛 )
    Adorei o texto! Eu tenho algumas experiências de viagens, mas nada maior que 1 mês e nunca para fora do Brasil, hehehe. Deve ser um desafio enorme fazer uma mala para um ano! Mas, pelas suas dicas, acredito que essa tarefa de arrumar a mala tenha sido bem sucedida! 🙂
    Sabe, as pessoas normalmente tem uma ideia um pouco erronia sobre o clima do Brasil. Semestre passado minha iFriend mexicana trouxe dois ou três casacos, sendo que ela chegou em julho, o mês mais frio do ano! hahaha Ela confiou em uma amiga que tinha dito que aqui fazia calor sempre! Só que não é bem assim, ainda mais em São Paulo, onde o clima não é tão tropical. Adorei a indicação dos sites da Wikipédia (meio óbvio, haha) e da Lonely Planet para verificar as temperaturas das cidades 🙂
    Não sei como você vai se virar só com dois livros! Mas é bom que aqui você pode comprar livros em português e aprender mais 🙂
    Acho que a única coisa que já sabia dessa lista é que os objetos de valor têm que ser portados na bagagem de mão, porque se a mala extraviar e os objetos sumirem, a companhia aérea não ressarce o passageiro.
    Enfim, acho que é isso! Amanhã você já viaja para o Brasil, certo? Seja bem-vinda! Espero que possamos nos conhecer logo!
    Boa viagem!
    Beijos, Mari! :*


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