In 12 days, I will probably be making the biggest journey of my life; moving from Cleveland, Ohio to Mumbai, India. Moving from one apartment to another is a big deal in itself, forget states or even countries. So why am I making this move? To be closer to my better half!!
I get peppered with questions as to how I am feeling about the move having lived in the US for almost 9 years now, I actually moved from Bangkok, Thailand to a small town called Hiram, Ohio to for my undergrad education. For the most part I am excited to move to India. My mind tells me that I am ready for this. The decision came naturally to me; not only would I be closer to him but also my parents. However there is one aspect that has been causing some stress to this move, and that is the packing.
I will be traveling via Air India (yes, they have restarted direct flights from JFK to Mumbai) and I am so thankful for four simple words when I was reviewing my itinerary: 2 checked baggage allowed. In today’s travel world this is a luxury which I am happily going to make full use of 🙂
I actually started mentally preparing for my trip in July when I got my tickets. I started by getting rid of clothes, shoes, decorations, etc by putting them up for sale and donating items at the local Goodwill (thrift store). Me being the planner I am, even had the dates outlined as to when I would leave my apartment to stay with friends, rent a large truck to move furniture, and clean my apartment before turning in the keys. I do have to say all this did ease the process a bit, but not by much.
Over the past weekend, I layed out the two suitcases that will be carrying majority of my things and I was simply shocked and horrified. How will my clothes, shoes, and necessary toiletries fit into these two 29 inch bags with the weight being under 23 kilos each? These clothes and shoes have taken years (okay, I am exaggerating here, but still) to put together.
My first step was to get Space Saver bags that would compress up to 16 sweaters/jackets to into the size of may be 5 shirts. This trick was a success! Just remember, that less space doesn’t mean less weight!
Next, take all the cases out. Do you really need to carry your watch in the box set? Earring and necklaces can be transferred into plastic ziplock bags to save space. I also took my necessary lotions out of the packaging and packed them as is.
These two steps did help a bit. However, it came down to answering the tough question. Do I really need all my clothes and shoes to follow me to India? The kid and wannabe fashionista said yes, but the practical me had a different answer: NO. In the end I decided that I will take a few essential pieces, jeans and a few shirts and two pairs of shoes, the rest I can leave behind and may be a friend will be nice enough to bring them during a later trip.
How do I feel now after making this choice? I actually feel good and excited. This will be my chance to add some Indian fashion/trends to my closet and give it a completely different spin. So I am content and feel this packing journey has been good. Yes, there were minor moments of anxiety and stress, but is this move really about bringing my clothes with me?? I am keeping myself open to all that India has to offer whether in terms of clothes, accessories, and shoes, etc.
May be I will regret my decision, may be not. I will keep you posted.