This was definitely one of those trips where I didn’t know exactly what I would need and want while here. Luckily, my dear friends Lisa and Camille had both been here for a semester and gave me lots of great advice, and I constantly repeated Camille’s “you’re not going to a third-world country” mantra over and over. Nonetheless, packing was still hard.
So, now that I’ve been here a month (!) today, here’s what I’m most happy about:
1. My pillow. This was a very last minute addition. A day or two before we left, Lisa had said she was really happy to have hers (and I do really love my pillow), so I stuffed it in. Literally. Good call. Both comfortable and comforting.
2. My raincoat. I know this probably sounds like an obvious one, but still a good choice. I decided long before we came, that I didn’t want to buy much before the trip and just rely on what we had, but I didn’t have anything like this. (And my mother-in-law bought it for me for Christmas — thanks, Mary!!) First of all, do you know how hard it is to find a rain coat with a hood? Harder than one might think. I really didn’t want to have to worry about an umbrella. Second of all, since I only brought two coats, this one works well as a dressier coat for church, longer tops, etc. Finally, did you notice the bright green pattern in the hood? Win.
3. My sneakers (or plimsolls, as they’re called on this side of the pond). If my (lack of) style were to have a signature item, it would be sneakers, but I only had so much room. So glad these made the cut. They’re Keens so they are super comfortable and more water resistant than they look. And they match everything (because all I brought were jeans). When I wear my running shoes, I feel a little frumpy and touristy, when I wear these, my friend Janine calls me a Yummy Mummy.
On a sad note — though these have taken me all over Oxford and London, and will be traveling with me to Paris, Rome, and Salzburg, it’s unlikely that they’ll make the journey home. They were already well-loved in Abilene, and I think I will walk through them by May.
Fortunately, I’ve found these: