LESSONS LEARNED ON HOW TO PACK FOR LIVING 2 MONTHS ABROAD
"WHAT NOT TO BRING"
For one, I brought way too many "activities" to do for fear of boredom: Every free moment I had, I wanted to go outside, to see friends, to exercise, and yes, to shop! My sewing project, my mini midi keyboard, my recording headphones, my sketchbook and colored pencils all took a back burner on this trip.
I bought Season 6 of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and a few episodes of "Flight of the Conchords" to watch on my iPad. Yes... instead of watching the DVDs I dragged all the way with me to Japan, taking up so much space in my suitcase, I bought TV show episodes and watched those instead. The pattern I noticed is that when far from home, and at the end of a long day, I crave comedy. NOT movies such as "Sophie's Choice" or "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (2 movies I actually brought with me).
Thirdly, I brought way too many books. The only things I read on this trip were "The Dharma Bums", and lifestyle magazines I picked up from Tsutaya or Tower Records. Again... instead of reading what I brought with me, I bought more things to take home.
Fourthly.... I brought way too many Lara Bars with me! As if I thought I'd be stranded for hours with no food and low blood sugar or something! I brought them with me everywhere, but never wanted to eat them ever. I was constantly sampling new snacks and treats left and right. And who needs an energy bar when you can eat onigiri from any convenient store on practically every block?! So I had about 20 of those to take back home with me. :/
I also brought way too many vitamins. Or maybe I just didn't take enough vitamins. I did not buy more vitamins.
Oh, and I brought too many postcards with me in hopes of writing back home. In fact, by "too many", I mean 1 too many, because in reality, I mailed 0 postcards while I was in Japan. And why would I bring my own postcards when I can get fun ones from there?? I approached it all completely wrong.... (I did buy some super cool postcards designed by Yurio Seki!)
For this tour, I'll leave the "projects", survival snacks, and one-too-many books at home, and save some space for more goodies to bring back home.