Sunday, January 20, 2013

Packing for Korea

I've got a tricky situation in that I'm going skiing with my parents right before I head to Korea. Then I have 5 days in Seoul before going to orientation. So, here's my packing strategy. It should also give you an idea of what sorts of things people are taking for the Spring 2013 intake. Well, what I'm taking. I have no idea if I'm taking the right things. I decided to do a trial run.

Bag 1 (Hardshell)
After spending days and days looking for hardshell suitcases with clips (and not zippers) because my dad is worried that Bad Guys will open the zip and stick drugs in my bag, leading me to be holed up in prison for the rest of my life without trial...

I'd sell her for a pack of smokes if she wasn't the only other English speaker here...
This bag contains:
  • winter shoes (hiking boots, trainers, teacher/smart shoes for orientation, flipflops)
  • long-johns (2 sets)
  • thick, fluffy and ski socks
  • tights (2 pairs)
  • smart-casual pants
  • suit 
  • jeans (2 pairs)
  •  scarves
  • coats (raincoat, ski jacket, denim coat)
  • jerseys (SO MANY JERSEYS! Lots of different kinds, with the idea of layering).
  • flannel PJs 
  • warm-ish gym clothes 
  • bras (SO MANY)
  • 3 large spray deodorants, and 3 roll-ons (they last a bit longer, I find)
  • ski jacket and ski pants (X2)
  • thick winter skirt
  • smart-casual skirt
  • hats and gloves
  • frequently used toiletries and makeup
Bag 2 (soft shell - to be wrapped in 8km of plastic until arrival in Daegu)

Ensuring that the dead bodies in the bag stay dead.

  • Swimsuits
  • more undies
  • shorts
  • jeans (x1)
  • summer dresses (X2)
  • smart-casual pants and skirts
  • gym t-shirts
  • smart-ish t-shirts/tops
  • some jerseys that didn't fit in bag 1
  • sarongs and other such beachwear
  • summer hat
  • sandals
  • high heels
  • infrequently used toiletries and medicine
  • small towel
  • handbags
  • teddy bear
  • scuba fins 
Hand luggage:

Mary Poppins' Handbag:

  • kindle
  • kindle charger
  • ipod
  • ipod charger
  • travel documents
  • camera
  • GPS
  • notebook
  • pens
  • re-spectacles
  • smaller clutch bag
  • sudoku book
  • extra hat and gloves 
  • flash sticks
Pull-on suitcase:
  • Orientation documents (certificates etc)
  • hairdryer and hair straightener
  • gifts for co-teachers, principal, etc
  • posters for class
  • books and resources for teaching
  • backpack
  • scarf
  • jewellery
  • scuba mask
Laptop bag:
  • laptop
  • cables
  • flashdrives
And on the plane I'll wear a pair of jeans, long johns, jersey, heaviest coat, scarf, and some winter boots. 

I think that's me sorted. I'm not that attached to any particular spices or foods so I don't really see the point in bringing them with me, as they'd add extra weight. And if there's anything I do desperately crave, my mom said she'll send them along to me. I am a bit sad to leave my wetsuit behind, but as I'll only be diving in the summer, that will be one of the things I will ask my mother to post to me.

I haven't weighed anything yet. To be honest, I am afraid to. I'd take photos of what my packing looks like, but I've lost my camera charger, terribly conveniently. 

Some tricks that I used to pack can be found in the video below:


From what I've seen on the interwebs, there are several items that they recommend you bring with you because they're either hard to find or very expensive in Korea. I've touched on that before, in this post.


  1. Ha. I dread the day I start to pack (which will be the second I get home from my vacation)... Are you going to be sending things back home with your family once the skiing trip is over? Or are you bringing your ski gear with you as well? Also, posters and books and resources for teaching... oh dear, what have I missed... What are you bringing? You can FB me if you'd like...

    1. I think I might be sending most of the ski stuff back with my parents. I'll keep the inner part of the ski jacket for warmth though; it looks like winter is f*cking cold there. I've got a couple of identical but useful grammar books that we received as gifts from my PGCE lecturers, and I thought I might give one to my co-teacher as a gift. The poster is a free one of Garfield saying "Do the WRITE stuff!" (groan). And I've got some leftover handouts and things from PGCE that looked like they might come in handy, such as 99 ways to say 'Good work' ('Well done', 'Keep it up', etc) and things like that. Nothing too major; just stuff I had lying around. I thought of bringing realia (packaging etc with English on it) but it just takes up too much space. My mom will send my wetsuit later, so she can probably add that stuff to the box. Thanks for the comment! I wish more people commented on this blog. :)

  2. Do you have a pair of teaching shoes packed? Slightly platforms, open toed shoes are perfect. I ended up taking a pair that were completely wrong and wearing the school's tiny tiny spare shoes because size 6/7 is a PAIN to find there!

    1. To wear in the school? Um... Kind of. I have some slingback sandals but they're a bit kak. I'll make a plan.