packing for 6 months in thailand

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My suitcases are currently open and exploding with items so I’ll have to update this post with a photo of them when I’ve completed the packing process. For now here is a photo of my travel themed tote bags (excuse the wrinkles, one’s been in use and the other’s been folded up in a suitcase for three weeks).

Step 1: Mix up a Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium drink and dig out your suitcases. I decided to try to go with one 13″ by 20″ suitcase and one 17″ by 24″ as well as a carry-on backpack. I toured Europe for 35 days with just my small (13×20) suitcase in May 2016 so once again I’m attempting to travel at least semi-minimalistic.

I started with what was ABSOLUTELY necessary: my work clothes. (since that is why I am going there, to work, although I sometimes forget that because it’s going to be so beautiful and a lot of fun!). As a kindergarten teacher I will be dressing very conservatively abiding to their customs of dress pants or long skirt, shoulders covered and close-toed shoes. Luckily, I am blessed with an air-conditioned classroom. All of that clothing is black due to the recent passing of their king. This part wasn’t a challenge for me since I normally wear a lot of black anyway.

Step 2: Quick five minute meditation break. If I get overwhelmed I just quit and then put it off so I’m actively trying to prevent that from happening this time…

Step 3: I’m not going to be in an extremely rural area so most toiletry items I don’t really have to stress over because I’ll be able to find something. However, I did treat myself to a few Lush shampoo bars since they smell amazing and they’re super easy to pack on the go (I have a few mini island expeditions coming up) and it’s also another way to cut down on my bag weight (in comparison to bringing liquid toiletries). Additionally, while I am packing some makeup for special occasions, I plan on going bare-faced most of my time there since it will probably almost immediately melt off my face in 80-90 degree and extremely HUMID weather.

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One challenge I’ve been facing my whole life whenever I travel is squeezing in books. As much as I would like to be able to enjoyably read from a Kindle or iPad (and have tons of books in a tiny little electronic folder), it will never be the same to me as holding a physical book and flipping the pages. However, there is supposed to be a bookstore with English books about an hour from me which isn’t too bad so I tried to limit the books this time.

As for casual clothing for when I’m relaxing/traveling/not working/etc., I am really challenging myself to live with less. Not only will it relieve stress, but it will save me time I might have spent picking out an outfit. It will mean I’ll wear things more than once unless they’re really dirty which is something I’m already comfortable with and used to doing. I feel confident in my ability to work with what I have since I actually haven’t bought very many new clothes in the past two years. (This took a lot of work for me to cut down on clothes shopping since I like to keep up with trends and I felt like shopping was somewhat ingrained in me from my time working in retail).

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These are the shoes I’m packing. It looks like a lot because they take up a lot of packing space but I’m justifying it by the fact that they’re all necessary for different reasons/occasions. The top left are everyday work shoes while the heels will be for staff meetings, any day I want to change it up and also could be for going out after work. The rain boots are coming along because it is going to be the wet season in Thailand basically the whole time I am there so I want to be at least somewhat prepared for the weather. My Nikes are for running which I normally do 3 times a week and will also be worn for any hiking I might do. Finally, my super old Urban Outfitters sandals that are getting super worn down but that are crazy comfortable are for the beach or market shopping or pretty much anytime shoes.

I also don’t own a lot of jewelry or other accessories so I’m only packing my absolute favorites (a lot of which were actually gifts, I’m very lucky to have people in my life who understand my taste!). I’m packing a ton of hair ties since I’ll probably be wearing my hair up a lot in the heat and my hair just gets really crazy in humid weather.

Finally, I recently left my job at a health foods store so supplements are a big interest of mine and I happen to get sick pretty often but ESPECIALLY when traveling so I try to over prepare nowadays.

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Some people might not even pack this much and plan to get some of it from a 7/11 or something over there but I like to use a lot of natural products so I’m bringing a few. The top left corner is actually a prescription from my doctor for emergency cases of traveler’s diarrhea (fingers crossed I don’t need this!). That is also the reason I’m bringing the probiotic pearls because the strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to be effective in preventing traveler’s diarrhea. The next two in the second row are to support my weak immune system. The Emerald lab multi vitamins I always take so I stocked up on a 6 month supply. Lifeseasons Pain Bloc-R is the best natural pain relief supplement I’ve ever tried-it’s very powerful and same goes for the Rest-ZZZ and I’ve tried almost every sleep-aid I’ve ever heard of. On the right side here are two natural sunscreen products which I’ll most likely run out of quickly having to reapply frequently and then mosquito stuff in the bottom row. The bug spray is by all means the worst product on this list and not even a tiny bit natural but everyone I’ve spoken to in Thailand has warned not to underestimate the bugs and to go for the sprays with the strongest chemicals possible to defend yourself. Although it goes against my better judgment living in the US, I have no idea what I’m getting into over there so I’ve armed myself with DEET just in case…

I didn’t have to buy too many things that I needed to bring but I did make one really BIG investment just now, a few days before my trip and that is what my next post will be about…stay tuned…. !

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