Tag Archives: preparation

Packing nightmare

For someone like me, who prides herself with being the “world’s greatest world traveler” (actually these are the words of my friend Bex), light packing is surprisingly a skill still missing from the list.
I have packed backpacks and suitcases hundreds of times before, but I just never seem to learn!

So today after struggling with carrying luggage from my place to Stella’s, whose place  I am staying at tonight,  I realised that something needed to be done. No chance I could carry this amount going up and down planes/buses/trains/taxis/whatever means of transport that I would be using over the next few weeks :-(

Action is required. Now!

What’s the first thing that can go? Mmm do I really need that heavy travel photography handbook? Yes. But…isn’t there an e-version available? Yes! £10 for the Kindle version, which also means I have to download a Kindle-for-PC converter and sort out some version incompatibility. But now it’s done, and I am a bit lighter (even in my wallet, but better than a broken back). Yay!

What’s next? I need help! Stella!!!! And here’s the two of us sitting on the living room floor with all my suitcase content spread everywhere, lifting one item at a time. “Are you really really gonna need this?” she asks. Yes. Ok, maybe. Not. You win.
Repeat that for half an hour in the same sequence, and here I am 2.5Kg lighter. Mission accomplished!!!

Will I do it better next time? Sadly, probably not.

Ground Zero

Burn it all down and start again. Everything that I have worked towards in the past few years is now gone. Clean sheet ahead. It’s bloody scary. And exciting! Mixed overwhelming emotions are taking over.

I am not new to this. I have done it before (kind of). I will be fine, I keep telling myself.

Yesterday at 5pm I walked out of my office for the very last time after almost 6 years, the longest I have ever been into anything. I struggled to hold back the tears when I said goodbye.
Today I am packing the rest of my belongings to go into storage tomorrow.

“You are very brave” I have been told. “I am completely insane” is my comment back.

Only time will tell.

It’s getting real

Three working days to go, before I leave my office for the very last time.
A few more boxes to pack, before I move all my belongings into storage on Sunday.
Jabs all done. Visa sorted. Camera equipment (almost) sorted too. Key flights booked, with a couple of accommodation bookings thrown in as well.
Suitcase still overflowing with lots of probably-not-so-useful-but-I-may-need-them-at-some-point items. Time for some re-assessment here….
To-do-list getting ticked off quickly at the moment, but some logistics still need to be organised.

Despite the amount of time spent planning and working around issues/challenges over the past 1.5 months (mainly at night!), I feel like there’s still so much to do…
Adrenalin kicking in!

Hunting for cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes?!
What’s that got to do with a travel blog, I hear you wonder.

Well, the combination of planning medium-term travelling and living in a rented house share may result (like in my case) in having to move out and put all your belongings into storage. And eventually move home.
So you need cardboard packing boxes!

Did you save any from your last house move or large items purchase? Are they in a reusable state and you don’t need any more? Great! You are done. No need to read further :-)

Do you need more boxes and are trying to save money? Well the good news is that you don’t have to pay for them, you can get them for free! No, I am not suggesting stealing them from the nearest self storage company, don’t get me wrong.
Hunting for free cardboard boxes can make for a fun afternoon, so here are a few tips on where to go:

# Large chain supermarkets. Just go and ask if they have any spare boxes, they don’t usually need them after the goods have been delivered and will be able to give them to you. Funny enough as I walked into the big supermarket here looking for the Customer Services desk, I spotted a big sign saying “Cardboard boxes” which I had never noticed before. Unfortunately no cardboard boxes under the sign so I left.

# Your local supermarket or off licence shop. This is another option to get boxes. Explain to them what size you need and you are most likely to find something you can take home and use. The owner of the little Asian shop round the corner from my house was more than happy to get rid of a few boxes kept in the back room. Different experience at the small supermarket down the road as they leave all free boxes outside: “Go and help yourself” I was told, and so I did. boxes1It felt like Christmas !

# Shoe shops, book stores, clothes’ shops. All good especially if you are looking for small boxes. I didn’t have much luck though: as I arrived, a man carrying lots of spare boxes was leaving the book store I had targeted, so nothing left for me. Is everyone moving home?!

# The local wine shop. They usually have good sturdy boxes.

# Freecycle. People who have already moved may want to get rid of their boxes and are happy for you to pick them up. You can then do the same when you are back from travelling and no longer need storage etc.

Slowly getting there! me_002