“I believe every woman should have a blow torch.”

Julia Child



Packing has never been my strong suit. 
No seriously I am awful at it. 

Long ago, I used to be an underpacker. You know, the girl who always forgot pajamas or shoes or only brought like six t-shirts on an 18-day trip to Brazil. It was a terrible misfortune. 

After several trips of forgetting essentials, I then made the sub-conscious life decision to start packing way more than I would ever need.

At first it was wonderful. I always had an abundance of outfits and shoes to choose from. But then I packed a 50-pound suitcase for a 5-day ski trip a few weeks ago and I had an epiphany. 

The same 50 pounds I had packed for 5 days in the mountains was the exact same amount of suitcase weight I would have for 4 months in England.

I repeat, the same 50 pounds I had packed for 5 days in the mountains was the exact same amount of suitcase weight I would have for 4 months in England. 

I had to take a serious look at myself and evaluate my packing strategy. 

Disclaimer: this is not a blog post to tell you how to pack your life away in one suitcase. I am by no means an expert in this area. But, I did find a packing list on Pinterest that I will gladly refer you to if you by chance have been searching your whole life for the ULTIMATE STUDY ABROAD PACKING LIST.
If I am being honest, I really didn't follow it all that much and I packed more sweaters than it allowed for anyways because no blog post can restrict my love for sweaters. 

With the tremendous help of my mother and sisters, patron saints of packing, I think I have successfully conquered this everest of a challenge. 

Nonetheless, you can find me still squeezing the air out of Ziploc space bags to try and cram more sweaters into a suitcase that seems to be growing smaller. 

These next seven days before I get on a plane to England are a bit daunting, seeing as I have yet to begin my pre-departure homework and reading, I have many people I want to see, and more importantly I still have three seasons of Lost to watch. (Don't tell me how it ends.) 

I know, I know. I really need to kick it into high gear with the homework but I am milking these last few days for all they are worth. 

I am enjoying my last nights of Mexican food and Luigi's. I cherish the moments with my family and friends. I loved getting to make the sophomore class Sing Song costume yesterday. I am excited to be in Abilene, even for only a few days.

It's hard to think about saying goodbye to these things I find so comfortable, like Taco Tuesdays or nights at my house with my crazy awesome family or even the seemingly endless hours in the Optimist newsroom. But thank goodness for FaceTime and also packing taco seasoning in my suitcase. 

Things are coming together and the suitcase will soon be zipped. I'll hold my breath when I whip out my handy luggage scale Santa brought me and hope for goodness sake that the contents meet British Airways 23-kilogram requirement. God save the Queen and God save my suitcase. 

Because ready or not, England here I come.