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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flying to Germany

I flew out of Chicago (ORD) at 9:50 pm on July 24. My family being the paranoid people they are, I got to the airport about 4 hours early.

Courtney at the airport before flying to GermanyI checked two suitcases and carried on my backpack and purse. The maximum weight for each suitcase is 23 kg. One of my suitcases was 22.6 kg, and the other was 22.9 kg. I am a master packer.

You can see that, even though it is summer, I am wearing pants, boots, and have a heavy sweatshirt with me. This was all part of my packing strategy. Those boots are the heaviest pair of shoes I have. They are easy to slip off for security checks too.

Overall, the flight went well, everything was on time, and I have arrived to Germany safely! I will write about my flight in the DreamLiner 787 in the next blog post. It was pretty cool.

Do you have a specific packing system? And are you strategic about what you wear to the airport?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Moving Abroad: Packing Part 3

This is the final installment of my packing saga. AI leave in 2 days and all of the essentials are now packed, along with all of my favorite clothes. I did finally cave and decide to take 2 suitcases. Once this decision was made, the packing process became much smoother.

My two suitcases and carry-on for my move to Germany

Just after this picture was taken, I weighed my suitcases. The larger one on the left was 38 pounds and the smaller one on the right was 30 pounds. It is nice to know that I have room for anything else I think of over the next couple days.

I kept tally of my clothes as I packed them in my suitcase. So if you were curious, I packed:
1 winter coat, 3 pairs of jeans, 10 tops/blouses, 19 pairs of underwear, 6 tanktops, 4 dresses, 8 pairs of socks, 4 bras, 3 pairs of shorts, 6 skirts, 4 sweaters, 2 bathing suits, 6 pairs of shoes, 3 scarves, and a business suit.

Whew! That sounds like a lot.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Moving Abroad: Packing Part 2

I am moving to Germany in 1 week! So this past weekend I decided to do a dry run with packing. I got out all of the clothes and other stuff I want to bring and shoved it in the suitcase. I weighed it, and the result was...

Weighing my suitcase before moving to Germany

Not bad. I was pretty happy with this. I looked over my stuff again and decided that I didn't need 3 bathing suits and moved a pair of shoes to my carry-on. I didn't weigh it again, but I figured it was definitely below 50 pounds after that.

Well, then I realized that I didn't pack any of my dresses... or hair products... or underwear. Okay, those things don't weight too much, right?

Then I got an email. Requests are coming in from Germany for Chicago Blackhawks gear. Okay. A hat, a t-shirt, no big deal, right? Then today I decided to do some research on items that you should bring when moving to Germany. Measuring cups and spoons! What a great idea!

So I caved, and I decided that I will definitely be bringing a second suitcase. It will be worth it. I'll give another update next week once I have both suitcase packed up.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Taking the Distance Out of a Long Distance Relationship

Marco (my German boyfriend) and I have been together for almost 2 years (23 months, to be exact). In those 23 months, we have spent about 8 months together and 15 months apart. The last time I saw him was in the beginning of January, making this gap over 7 months -- the longest time we have gone without seeing each other. So finally taking the distance out of our relationship is a big deal.

I am moving to be with him in 2 weeks. It is so nice to know that we will never have to have another emotional good-bye in an airport ever again. Being in a cross-lingual relationship, it is also nice to know that our number of misunderstandings will also decrease (99% of the fights we have had are due to a poor phone or internet connection).

Many people I know are always so amazed that our relationship lasted these past couple years. The truth is, even though we are over 4,000 miles apart, neither of us ever questioned it.

This was taken while we were visiting the tallest waterfall in Germany.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? Did it stand the test of time and distance? I would love to hear other success stories!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Moving Abroad: Packing Part 1

Since I am moving abroad in about 3 weeks, I have officially begun packing. I will be flying with the Polish airline LOT. Not the classiest, but price trumps comfort right now.

My suitcase currently has one layer of stuff in it. These are all the essentials: medical supplies (insulin pump supplies, glucose monitor test strips, syringes, etc.), a few toiletries, my retainer that I never wear, a German soccer jersey, a Chicago Cubs hat, and a package of Slim Jims (no, those aren't legal to take overseas, but the boyfriend loves them, so I'll take my chances).  Maybe the last three items on that list don't sound like essentials, but trust me, they are.

suitcase before moving abroad

Empty closet before moving abroad
I also have to pack up my room, boxing up all my clothes, furniture, and other crap to either store or donate. I have already boxed up all the clothes that I will not either (1) take to Germany or (2) wear in the next 3 weeks. You can see my closet is look very empty. Yes, I do have a German flag hanging in the back of my closet. No, I will not be bringing it with.

My suitcase is allowed to be 50 pounds (23 kg). I have already contacted the airline to see how much a second suitcase will cost ($100). But both times I have traveled abroad for several months, I have managed to do it in one suitcase. Heck, last time I had a full case of 12 bottles of beer in my suitcase (about 12 pounds)! I consider having to fit my life in one 50 pound suitcase a great exercise in humility.

I will try to do 2 more weekly updates of how packing is going, so check back to see if I can make it under 50 pounds. Do you think I can do it? Would you be able to fit your life in a 50 pound suitcase to move abroad?
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