THE SUITCASES OF AN EXPAT
Have you ever thought, before being an expat, that you would one day fill your suitcases with baking powder, physiological saline solution or some of your favourite barbecue sauce?
Have you ever noticed the amusing smile of the cashier when you buy 27 packs of lactic ferments or 15 chocolate bars at the end of the summer, the day before your departure for your host country?
The thing is, a lot of expatriates are trying to pack everything they will need to get through the coming year, from clothes to food, including health products or favourite cosmetics.
In most cases, we don’t really need all of these things but having them make living far away from your home country so much pleasanter! It helps you feel a little home away from home!
Being an expat is amazing, but depending on the country in which you live, even “good” stores are not always as well-supplied with quality items as stores back home. In most cases, you will be able to find whatever you want, but sometimes at exorbitant prices!!!
After a few months in your host country, you will be prepared and know exactly which items you miss from home. keep it in mind or better, write a list, so you’ll just have to go through it next time you will be packing!
Here is a list that you’ll need to personalize to fit your own needs and desires!
Clothes and shoes
In some countries, it can be good to bring a year’s supply of clothes, especially for your children who might grow up very quickly!
Packing a few of your favorite snacks or food will help to cheer you up when your mood is down! Some good chocolates, charcuterie, cheeses will make life a little bit sweeter!
If you like to read, having a couple of books in your own language is always appreciable. The other option is to invest in a e-reader so you will be able to buy books in your native languages wherever you are! Remember also that some magazines from home are always welcome when your relatives are visiting you!
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare products
It can be a good idea to stock up some medicine you are used to, for your kids or yourself, as well as sunscreen, bug spray, deodorant, face cream and makeup. Some feminine hygiene products can be difficult to find in some countries so you might want to buy some in your home country before heading back. When it comes to babycare products (liniment, physiological solution, diaper cream…), if there are some staples you cannot do without, buy a few of them! Even if you have the chance to find them in your host country, they might be very expensive.
One final hint, and not the least: before buying a lot of things, just keep in mind that you have to conform to the luggage weight limit imposed by your airline, in order to avoid extra fees for overweight… Do not forget also to check which items are permitted or prohibited by the country you are flying to!
And you, what are the strangest things you pack in your suitcases when heading back to your host country?