Indiana University Overseas Study

Panic sets in

Debora Estrada Lobo

I only have two weeks before my departure date and I still have not started packing. Although this seems as procrastination, the truth is I haven’t been home for most of the summer. I’m starting to panic and it’s really just the fact that I’m not home and therefore can do nothing about it.

A week is more than plenty of time to pack for this extended trip; and even more so if you have some travel experience. Yet my anxiety continues to build as each day passes and I’m still not home. To calm myself down I keep telling myself “You are only going to focus on the essential once you get home and you most certainly won’t over pack”. At this point, I also decided to challenge myself to pack only one suitcase and my weekend travel backpack. To an over-packer like myself this really seems impossible.


It is now only a week before my departure and I’m finally home. First thing I do is start piling a list of the clothe items I need to take with me. The list looks something like this: 4 jeans, 6 short-sleeved shirts, 12 long-sleeved shirts, one “heavy” jacket… And so it begins. All clothing items are packed airtight using Ziploc packing bags; which are really useful to free up a lot of space. It is on to cosmetics and toiletries and a similar list is compiled. In all honesty, I know that I will over pack this section but I had enough space and decide to do it. A list for electronics, documentation and currency is created and throughout the week all packing is completed.


It’s now departure day and everything is ready! It seems unbelievable, but I did it! I managed to complete my challenge. Let’s just see how I manage with these three pieces of luggage will I take to taxis and a train from Madrid to Seville!

Debora Estrada Lobo - exploring contemporary Spain

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