What we packed to move abroad!!
Needless to say, moving abroad is super overwhelming! There is paper work to do, loose ends to tie, goodbyes to say, and worst of all, THE PACKING! So enjoy if your one of my organization/packing freak friends (you know who you are!) or if not, feel free to pass this on to anyone who is about to move to serve where the need is greater. Trust me, I wish I had this list when I started! The biggest thing to say though, is it totally depends on where you are going. We were fortunate enough to spend 3 months in Thailand prior to the big move, so we knew exactly what we could and couldn’t get (for the most part…there were still a few surprises! who knew bed sheets and bath towels would cost so much in our town????) Anyway, Here goes!
If you know us, then you know food is super important to us. I plan on cooking…ALOT. Living in another country also means cooking takes twice as long and is twice as difficult! Fortunately Thailand has a lot to offer in the way of food. We have access to things like peanut butter, bread, pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil and vinegars, beans, seasonings, etc. But there are some things we just can’t live without, and some treats that will help us fight through home sickness. So here goes! Starting top left going down:
1) mini coolers! for packing lunches for service and assemblies
3) lots of beer brewing supplies (*10 months later and we use these supplies mostly for brewing kombucha or wine)
4)Taco seasoning- we missed tacos soooo bad while we were here for 3 months. I learned how to make tortillas so this has become a go to meal for us when we miss home.
5)green bag of first aid stuff- a lot we can get here, but its just a few things we can’t live without!
6)mozzarella cheese making supplies – cheese is so hard to come by in Asia! (*10 months later and I have never touched this!)
7)maca powder- I went a little super food crazy in preperation to keeping us healthy in Thailand
8) chia seeds
9)21 seasoning salute from TJ’s- also a salad dressing MUST for me! oil, vinegar, and this, and I’m all set! (* familiar seasoning blends from home is one of the best and most used things we brought)
10)repair protien powder
11)oatmeal- we had some extra space and threw this in. SO GLAD!! we ate this for days before we had our kitchen set up. all we needed was hot water and we had an instant meal!
12)cashews- again, filled some extra space with these. We were told they were very expensive in Thailand.
14) throat coat tea- my favorite for when I’m not feeling well. I expect that It might be often in Thailand, so I’m coming prepared!
15)instant yeast- for making REAL bread, not the wonderbread fluff they have here
16)1 liter of Franks Hot Sauce- call us crazy, but this is what we missed the most out of ANYTHING when we were gone for 3 months! Coming prepared this time!!! Want to know what to send us in a care package??? HOT SAUCE PLEASE!!
17)mini muffin pan- all my baking will be in a toaster oven. Mini oven = mini muffins
18)reusable silicone cupcake things- Aaron’s favorite dessert is made with these
19)Grapefruit Seed Extract- our SAVIOR!!!!!! has really helped us prevent regular food poisoning!! We wash all our veggies in this, and put a few drops in our water before drink it to help our tummies. I also add a few drops when I make our salad dressing, just because why not???
20)tumeric-for Aaron’s shoulder issues
21)his and her’s coffee mugs-to start our days with a piece of home
22)zoodler- because who can live without zoodles??
24)spirulina-is it clear I fully intend to keep us healthy here??
25)Advil- because apparently none exists in Thailand
27)wellness formula capsules
28) fish oil
29) diatematious earth- comment below if you’ve used this! I did a lot of research on this but its a first for me. supposed to help with killing parasites and other stomach bugs
30)popsicle mold- a favorite summer snack of ours, which will probably be a favorite all year round snack now
31)almonds- had some extra space to fill, why not shove in healthy snacks to get us started??
32)dry erase calendar- our pioneering depends on this. its how we kept our time straight for the last 7 years-cant live without it now!
33)RX granola bars!!! we shoved these in all our extra spare space. (*Upon reflection, my thought is to NOT bring these as tempting as they might be, because they don’t stand up to the heat/humidity well. After a few weeks they leaked oily slime over everything they touched )
Clothing list – Her’s
The main thing to consider here is fabric. Is it cotton, linen, or rayon? These fabrics are good for breathing and sweating. Anything with Polyester will make you feel more hot. Also the color/pattern- will It show sweat? I sweat like crazy so I stuck to white, black, navy blue, or bold patterns so you can’t actually see how gross I am.
- 7 tank tops (used as work out tops, pajama tops, lounging at home etc)
- 4 shorts (jeans/khakis)
- 2 work out shorts
- 2 pajama/lounging shorts
- 2 leggings
- 9 tops with sleeves (have to wear a top with sleeves any time I leave the house…thanks Thailand!)
- 1 long sleeve shirt (just in case)
- 1 button up linen shirt (to protect against the sun- use this all the time on long motorbike rides)
- 2 cardigans
- 3 pants
- 8 skirts- some are long, some are short, some are A-line, some are pencil. I really wasn’t quite sure what was going to work best, so I brought a few since I had room, expecting some to not work out well. The result: they all work well. and I’m glad I have variety because some can sit in the wash and I still have enough since I wear skirts/dresses every day.
- 1 rain coat
- 2 fun vacation tops
- 2 fun vacation dresses
- 6 meeting/service dresses
- 2 sports bras
- 2 scarves
- 1 hat
- 1 fun vacation bathing suit
- 1 modest bathing suit (for our town community pool)
- 2 purses
- 1 backpack
Not pictured: like 20 pairs of underwear and 3 bras, 1 pair running shoes, 1 pair lifting shoes, 1 pair TOMS, 1 pair crocks for service , 1 pair flip flops (*Looking back, I wish I brought a nice pair of shoes for meetings/assemblies. I ended up buying a pair because I hated wearing my crocks for nice things)
Clothing list – His
The same fabric/color thoughts from my clothing apply to his as well
- 3 work out shorts
- 2 bathing suits
- 4 regular casual shorts
- 10 ties
- 15 dress shirts
- 1 casual button up
- 2 long sleeve shirts
- 1 rain coat
- 5 service/meeting pants
- 21 t shirts (yes this is ALOT, but he uses all of them interchangeably as work out shirts, under shirts, and regular shirts, meaning he goes through 3-4 per day, sometimes more!)
not pictured: socks and underwear 2 pairs lifting sneakers, 1 pair service shoes, 1 pair flip flops, 1 pair casual sneakers, and small backpack (*looking back, he also wishes he brought a nice pair of shoes for meeting instead of wearing his dirty service shoes for everything. He also ended up buying a pair of nice meeting/assembly only shoes)
Toiletries and personal items:
We wanted to make sure we had a few things from home to just provide comfort if nothing else. So much of our life in Thailand will be new, so we wanted to pick just one or two of our favorite toiletries to have with us to feel like home.
- oxi clean- because I don’t know how to do laundry without it!
- door hooks for towels-these were shockingly useful
- nail polish, clippers and nail polish remover
- Aaron’s shaving supplies
- my favorite lush face products
- tea tree and lemon grass essential oils
- waterpik (yeah I know I’m a dental dork!)
- 100% deet bug spray …you know just in case
- organic bug spray, for when we don’t need the deet
- my two favorite hair brushes
- prescription tooth paste
- dental instruments (yeah yeah I know, but I’m sure my dental girls are proud)
- dry shampoo
- eye makeup remover (my favorite)
- shavers (just enough to get started until I find ones here)
- 2 in one curling iron/hair straightener
- scuba masks
- Aaron’s weight belt
- travel toiletry case, Aaron’s (for all those visa runs)
- travel toiletry case, kimmys
- make up pouch- only brought the makeup that fit inside
- except for my naked palette
- Aaron’s weight lifting gloves, tape, and wrist straps
- foam roller
- jump rope
- knee sleeves (again of weight lifting)
Not pictured: choice of birth control and tampons. We have to bring everything we need for this area since we can’t find it in thailand
These items are important to us to help us feel settled and at home in Thailand. I realized during our few months tempting at Bethel a few years ago that without a few personal decorative items up I feel very misplaced and unsettled. I could be anywhere in the world but as soon as I pop just a few things up I immediately feel home.
- my flute, incase I happen to have down time (*I’ve never touched this)
- 2 books, since we’ll be flying like ALL the time
- drying hangers- we are attached to these since they don’t poke the shoulders weird on Aaron’s shirts (* one of the best things I brought since there are no driers here and everything has to be hung dry!)
- random decorative basket (these always find use and this one has been with me for 7 years)
- area rug (*I learned that large area rugs are a bad idea since there are no vacuums it was too difficult to clean. I have since purchased a small one that can be moved easily and shaken out during cleaning)
- decorative curtain panel (incase theres ugly things we need to hide
- actual curtain panels to be used- (hang these up and we instantly feel like home! they’ve been with us in our past two homes)
- throw pillow I took out all the stuffing to pack it smaller.
- sentimental box containing notes from family as a gift before we left
- finger drums, because obviously these are a necessity (but they are also sentimental to us)
- thai flash cards
- thai text book
- wedding photo
- family board that was a going away gift from our family
- 2 decorative organizing boxes (these always have a use, but also helped protect our Bibles while packing)
- study bibles in ENGLISH
- hanging string lights (again makes us feel instantly home) (*the first time I plugged it in a blew the fuse..forgot to check the voltage)
Not pictured: All our electronics- I pads, Laptops, camera gear, external hard drives, extra flash drives(super helpful for printing things out at the local print shop or sharing documents with brothers who don’t have any other way)…chargers…extra chargers for when we loose the first chargers… you get the idea!
Everything we brought fit in 4 50lb boxes. In addition to our 2 carry on bags, this is what we were allowed to check on our international flight, so thats what we decided to bring. We decided to use cardboard boxes instead of suitcases to 1) save on weight and 2) be able to dispose of it once we arrived to Thailand. We knew we wouldn’t have room to store extra luggage. And let me tell you, this worked out AMAZING!!!!! We bought heavy duty cardboard boxes from Home Depot, lined them with a huge garbage bag (incase the box ripped out stuff wouldn’t fall out loose) and then wrapped the box with industrial plastic wrap to help waterproof it and keep the box from ripping apart. We had awesome success with this and plan on doing this overtime going forward.
So I hope this helps any future need greaters out there! Please feel free to send this to anyone you know who may be packing for a long trip abroad. We feel pretty happy over all with the things we brought, and so I hope this list can be helpful to someone out there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write them below!!!