How to fit your life into a suitcase

So I’m off to Spain for 9 months, yayy! But what to take? I am suddenly panicking as I think of all the teabags, toiletries, cosy socks and cats that get me through a day. How hot will it be? Seville is basically Africa…..does it even get cold? I find myself imagining Seville as somewhere akin to the Australian outback with limited shops and sweltering heat, visualising becoming lost in the bleak rocky wilderness as I attempt to communicate with natives but am unable to due to the fact that Spaniards in Seville managed to lose the ‘s’ from their words somewhere between Barcelona and Madrid. Perhaps the most daunting thought of all: NO TEABAGS!! Wait, will they have Quinoa???!!!! Stop it Katie, this is not darkest Peru. I’m sure you can survive without a small and fairly bland grain for a few months.

I’ve only ever been away for a week or two at a time on holidays. The longest was for two weeks to Canada  when I was 11 and even that was stressful: how many pairs of pants to take (a fortnight? What is a fortnight? How many days is that?!), the threat of being mauled by a bear, do we have enough plug adapters, which plug adapter do I even need? The suitcase was completely stuffed full of “emergency jumpers” and the extra extra pair of trousers in case I was caught in a downpour twice in one day, at least a third of which remained in the suitcase for the entire holiday and returned home unworn, crumpled and smelling slightly musty. You can therefor imagine slight anxiety of packing for 9 months – not only clothes, but the also the many books, photos, bags, etc (not to mention teabags) that make up my life. Having opted for a 20kg and a 15kg bag, I did what I always do when faced with a daunting task: made a list.

Just as it was beginning to look like Autumn outside, here I was laying out my shorts, playsuit, summer dresses and sunglasses. As a naturally cold person (who at that moment was wearing a vest, tshirt, cardigan and then a hoodie on top) this was somewhat unnerving, especially as the shops had all announced that it was OFFICIALLY AUTUMN and brought in the new lines. Cue me adding fluffy socks, a hoodie and a hot water bottle to the pile – just in case. Then the shoe debacle started. How many pairs did I need? Was it reasonable to take those pink pumps that I only really wear with two outfits? Because if I don’t, then what would I wear with that skirt?! In the end I decided on about 6 pairs, which I thought was a lot, but then my mother (the woman with a pair for every day of the year) came up the stairs, took one look at the collection on the landing and declared that I “need more shoes. You can never have too many shoes”. Well actually, when you only have 35kg of suitcase weight, it really can’t all be shoes.

So, 24 hours and a night of waking up every hour thinking “Argh! I forgot the _____!” and I think I am done.

Unnecessary things I packed in a panic:

  • Razors (Europeans don’t shave, right?)
  • Hot Water Bottle – IT’S STAYING!
  • 1 packet of Earl Grey Teabags, 1 packet of Chamomile Teabags (although these are actually essential not unnecessary)
  • Quinoa……well, why not. It fits in!


Things I almost packed accidentally:

  • One cat


    Sorry Sid, you can’t come with me 😥


47 hours to go!!!!!!!!!!!


Katie xx



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