It’s been almost 2 years since I moved to Germany. I’ve made 3 smaller moves and an international one since then where I’ve really had to examine everything and decide if it’s worth it to keep. Having to be so cut-throat means that there are inevitably things I decided not to keep and so I wanted to share those things with you so that you don’t end up packing them in the first place!
I have to be honest guys, this was a tough one to come to terms with. If you’ve been with me since my very first posts then you know I spent a lot of time cultivating a compact backpacking kit. I’m still really proud of it and if I had actually spent the time outdoors that I originally intended, I would probably be very happy to have it.
The problem is that I haven’t used it nor have I actually ever brought it along on any of my trips. Space is at a premium in my 23 liter pack and I don’t have room for “what if’s.” On the other hand, the kit is very useful for general emergencies which could happen at any time regardless if I’ve gone traveling.
However, since I’ve had to cut down on things so drastically, I had to weigh the peace of mind with the size and weight of the kit and in the end, I tossed a lot of items from the kit and just kept some of the cold weather items I might feasibly use in the near future.
I stressed out about clothing a lot before I moved. When I was preparing and packing at my parents house, I got rid of two thirds of my wardrobe or more. While getting rid of the excess felt good, I was also stressing out about going to a business school in Europe with a bunch of (presumably) rich kids and not looking the part. There were a handful of items I considered essential to my new and improved wardrobe that I spent way too much time looking for before I left.
For example, I got in my head that I needed new jeans and I decided that grey would be a good color to pick knowing the color pallet of my pseudo-capsule wardrobe. I spent days and days looking for the perfect pair and in the end I bought a pair I thought I was happy with.
But when I got to Germany, I realized that the cut and style didn’t fit in, and I had to start shopping all over again. That’s just one example but there are many more; some things I sent back home, some I kept and wore until they wore out, and others I just donated.
Something to Cuddle
I brought a fleece blanket that had my Bachelor university logo on it with me when I moved. I originally thought that it would be something functional and lightweight that I could bring that might help me with homesickness. In the end, I really didn’t need or use it and it took up a lot of space. The good thing is, I intentionally brought this blanket in particular because it was cheep and starting to fall apart. I ended up donating it and really haven’t missed it since.
During the summer before I left for Germany, I got to spend some quality downtime playing PS4. When it came time to go back to school, I knew I’d miss my video games so I thought I would bring my Nintendo DS to having something similar to do. Like everything else in this post, I really haven’t used it. I’ve either been too busy or I just haven’t been interested in the games I have (or that are available).
It’s probably better this way since video games are, in general, a pretty big waste of time. Although it’s not big or heavy, it’s breakable and one more thing I don’t really need.
When I first arrived in Germany, I placed a big order on Sephora to get some things I couldn’t get in Germany (back before Sephora came to Germany) and that were too heavy to just take in my suitcase when I moved. While I think that that was a really smart move, I also made a mistake. I bought two really big bottles of body wash thinking that I would use them pretty quickly so that I didn’t have to place an order again in the near future.
The problem is that I severely misjudged how long a bottle would last. Over a year later and I will just now be opening that second bottle. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if I hadn’t been continuously moving since then. Since it’s expensive soap that I really love, I’ve been making room for it in all my moves but I have really regretted all that extra weight when I was trying to get my bags down to a meager 20 kg.
All my Jewelry
This last item is mostly just another misjudgment on my part. I originally intended to literally have my entire life with me when I moved to Germany and for the most part, I succeeded. I knew I’d likely be beginning my professional career and I also didn’t know when I could come back home again so my reasoning was to take all of my jewelry with me. While it’s really organized and stored well, it’s also a lot more jewelry than I would ever typically wear, especially on a day to day basis in school.
It’s nothing I kick myself over too hard since it was just an outlook on life at the time that has changed a bit, but if I had to do it all again, I would definitely only bring a few items and leave the full collection at home much like I would if I was just traveling rather than moving. I know once I am dressing business professional every day that I will start wearing it more and that I won’t have brought it in vain but until then I could have saved myself some trouble.