If I had to describe packing up to leave the country for 2 years, I’d say it’s pretty much like plummeting down a rabbit hole trying to grab for my belongings and the people I love while I still can. I’d like to say it’s a little easier this time around since I’m somewhat experienced at packing for long trips, but that also makes it harder since I can remember everything I missed while studying in Peru (what a rookie mistake traveling to South America without bringing any hot sauce!). Now I’m in the process of deciding which comforts of home I will bring and what I will be able to live without. With just 1 suitcase and 1 backpack, there will definitely be things I will have to leave out.
Some key things I will be bringing:
- Sriracha, chili powder, chipotle seasoning, chipotle tabasco– Just because I’ll be south of the border doesn’t mean everything will be spicy! Most South American countries are pretty wimpy with spice.
- Lots of makeup-While there are plenty of white people in Colombia, I still can’t expect my extra-ginger shades to be readily available. We don’t want a repeat of the Peruvian eyebrow pencil incident of 2012…
- Head Lamp, Surge Protector, Power Bank-Apparently the electricity in small town Colombia can be a little spotty. Gotta be prepared!
- Battery operated fan, weird cooling do-rag thing from REI-With a heat index consistently into the 100’s, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I will always be “that sweaty gringa”. I’m hoping these items will provide some relief from the stifling heat.
- 6 XL bars Secret Clinical deodorant, 1 Bottle perfume-In Ecuador, I hated always smelling like sunscreen, sweat, and 100% DEET bug spray when the locals all smelled so fresh and clean. Don’t worry Colombia, this time around, I’ll be smelling like sunscreen, sweat, bug spray AND Marc Jacob’s Daisy Dream. ¡Qué sexy!
- Fancified Crocs-It’s not an oxymoron!! They have some cute flats these days! Ok… decide for yourself… as my best friend says, “Crocs are Crocs,” but apparently they’re popular in Colombia. Plus, what else am I supposed to wear when it’s pouring and the streets are flooded and I have to get to work?
If your interested in what else I’m bringing, my full packing list will be in the top menu.
With just 8 days left until departure, I’m definitely feeling the pressure of trying to savor everything (and everyone) while I still can. That last Bears game, last visit with Grandma, last yoga class with mom, last Chipotle burrito, last hot tub with dad… It’s definitely an emotional roller coaster, but I know it will all be worth it. As you can see, I’m crazy busy with packing and preparations (and I’ll still be subbing a few days this week), but I welcome anyone who wants to stop by and send me off before Tuesday. If not, there will be many ways to keep in touch with me and, of course, I’ll be back before you know it!