Going abroad for a year is hard. You have to leave all of your friends and family and move to a new, strange place where people might do things differently. Not to mention you will be surrounded by a language that you might not always understand.
However, one of the hard things that starts even before you leave is knowing how and what to pack. I find it hard to pack for a two week holiday, so how was I supposed to fit everything I needed for a whole year into just one suitcase!?
There were so many things that I wanted to take, but with a limit of 23 kilograms I had to be strict and decide between what I really needed and what I could leave behind. For example, did I really need that many pairs of shoes?
If you ever have to pack a suitcase to go away for a long time, I would recommend making a list. I wrote down what I might need for the summer and for the winter and from this I picked the clothes I wear the most. Of course, I would go shopping when I was there, but it's much easier (and cheaper) to make sure you bring the important things like a coat or a jumper. But it wasn't just clothing I had to think about.
My bedroom at home is full of books, posters and decorations but of course, there wasn't space for these in my suitcase. So, to make my new room feel homely too, I packed my favourite photographs of my friends and family. I even packed a postcard with little drawings of the guards from Buckingham Palace to remind me of England.
The final thing I thought about was what I would miss from England that I might not be able to buy abroad. The first thing that crossed my mind was tea! Green tea, fruit tea and English breakfast tea all went in. The second was my favourite chocolate. These things might seem small and silly, but when you are feeling homesick, they make a big difference!
What would you take with you to make you feel more at home if you were going to live abroad for a year? Is there anything you couldn't live without?