November Mini-Challenge Day #1: Weirdest or Dumbest Thing I’ve Taken Abroad

So here is my first blog challenge! It’s just a mini one, I will eventually build up to those month-long challenges the more experienced bloggers do! This challenge comes from Cate Brubaker of Small Planet Studio, a great intercultural and travel resource. Do check the site out! And today’s question is…

“What is the weirdest or dumbest thing you’ve taken abroad?” 

There are some items I have packed or shipped abroad that were definitely not needed and only took up precious space and weight in my luggage that, looking back, I can see was pretty dumb. Toiletries like bottles of shampoo and conditioner, extra makeup, moisturizers are all things that I packed to move abroad my first time (to Limerick, Ireland). As this was my very first time out of the country- not counting family holidays to a few Caribbean islands- I definitely went overboard with the amount of items from home I wanted to bring. I think I wanted as much to remain as similar to life as I knew it, so packing up a few bottles of my favorite shampoo was my way of bringing familiarity into my new world.

So when I moved abroad again three years later (this time for graduate school), you would think that I would not have packed the unnecessary items. But I did! This time it was for a completely different reason. I packed and shipped a box filled with linens, towels, and toiletries, not because I couldn’t find these EXACT items in Dublin, but because they would be double the price there! (And I do realize that shipping costs negated any money I saved. What can I say, it just made sense to me at the time.)

There is also another reason behind my madness. So many people who move abroad for study or work buy all new “things” only to discard these items when they depart. There are places to donate such items, but far too often they are just dumped in the garbage. I am proud to say that because of my frugalness and desire to waste nothing, I still have the duvet cover and pillows I had with me when I lived full time in Dublin! (And now I still have other items in Dublin at my partner’s house, but my duality of country is a whole other post for another time!)

So my items taken abroad aren’t really all that weird, just sort of dumb depending on how you look at it.

I’m looking forward to reading about some bizarre things others have brought abroad!

The November Mini-Challenge next question is…

“Tell us about your first ‘global’ experience.”

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