Ireland 2019: Packing time!

I’ll be traveling to Ireland tomorrow night to kick off this year’s European Council study abroad program there–students arrive June 14–so today is packing day! This year is my third on the program so I almost have the packing down to a routine, but of course every year is a little different. Signficant example: last summer was unusually warm (highs in the low 80s Fahrenheit) whereas temperatures this coming week are much more typically Irish (highs in the 60s). It looks like my program director persona “Dr. Laura Trenchcoat” will be at large in the Republic once again. I’m also taking along a few more books than usual since I have to write some syllabi this summer. No worries about coming in under the limit (50 pounds) but this year may not see a personal record for packing light. Here’s what I’ve got:

Suitcase and carry-on. Suitcase is 26″ x 19″ x 8″ and weighs about 6 lbs. empty. Backpack is . . . the size of a backpack?

Cross-body bag for daily carry once I get there.

Pants, long-sleeve shirts, and sweaters. I may have a little problem with stripes.

T-shirts, my WIT Vikings pullover, and the pencil skirt and leggings I plan to wear on the plane.

Exercise clothes and my travel yoga mat, which successfully passed the “But will I use it?” test last year.


Important odds and ends: washcloths (never provided in Europe), plug adapters (can’t have too many), mini tripod (handy), luggage scale and corkscrew (ways to make myself indispensable)

Carry-on toiletries–trying to keep it minimal but I’ll probably stick a mascara and lip gloss in there in the morning.

Electronics–this time it’s my phone that isn’t pictured because I was using it to take the pictures!

All you REALLY need is your passport and credit card. And BuJo. And €13 in change. And Duke.

Copies of my passport and credit cards ride in the suitcase to make replacement easier if anything gets lost.

Everything in except toiletries and my trench coat. As always, socks, underwear, and PJs are not pictured.

The research questions embedded in this year’s packing are:

  • I’m adding a Bluetooth speaker this year because I wish I had one every year. Will it pass the “But will I use it?” test?
  • I am not taking my “real” camera because I suspect it’s starting to die. Can I take 5 weeks’ worth of attractive and interesting pictures with an iPhone 6S? Here’s hoping.
  • Have I brought enough warm clothes? Probably.
  • And will I regret taking only sneakers? Proximate cause to buy shoes in Ireland, so no.

Shuttle to the airport at 5:00 tomorrow afternoon. Flight at 9:45, arriving in Dublin at 10:35 Tuesday morning. I’m excited!

Knights Impact 2019: Packing!

Tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m., my colleague Chris Tsavatewa and I will set out with 12 students en route to Port Canaveral to board Carnival Breeze for a week of service learning activities in the Eastern Caribbean. Our GroupMe has been buzzing all day with packing talk. As a packing aficionado I couldn’t wait to weigh in (hmm, pun intended?) on the topic. Other than 2 sea days (one at the beginning and one at the end) we will spend our days in port doing volunteer work at organizations like the Humane Society and Salvation Army, so we don’t have to be too dressed up, but we also need some nice clothes for “elegant night” dinners and maybe the odd bit of swimwear. Here’s what I came up with and what I did with it:

My suitcase: low-cost-carrier carry-on size. It has lived a good hard life since I bought it in Paris in 2015 for practically no money.

T-shirts ahoy! Not pictured: one pair of jeans, which I’ll wear on the drive down tomorrow.

This is the largest number of swim pieces I have ever owned. I highly recommend a rashguard top (long-sleeve swim top as pictured on the left) if you burn easily or are at all concerned about sun exposure.

2 dresses, 1 pair of linen pants, 1 pair of linen shorts. The linen is already wrinkled but I dont’t think the dogs at Humane Society will mind.

Everything in the suitcase including toiletries, flip-flops, pajamas, and a sweater. Now for carry-on items:

Electronics and chargers (add to this my Olympus E-PM1 camera, which isn’t in the picture because I used it to take the picture)

Wallet, passport, headphones, keys, spare lipgloss, Milou folder (you should distrust people who call him Snowy) with travel docs and program information in it, another folder with some homework, and a Royal Caribbean lanyard which Chris assures me is okay to take on a Carnival cruise.

I have to throw a few things into the suitcase in the morning but overall I’m ready. Watch for more posts this week as I visit 2 new territories, one new country, and return to the Dominican Republic for the first time since 2017. I am excited but I think the students are at least twice as excited as I am!

P.S. Wouldn’t have forgotten these but I almost forgot to give them a shout-out: Sea-Bands! Maybe it’s “just” the placebo effect but seriously: THEY WORK.