We are off again! This time to the land famous for its fish, the invention of paper clips, open sandwiches, the northern lights and A-HA. Yes, we are moving to Norway. Now the big problem for me is, with less than a week to go, what do I need to pack. I have asked Luke to advise me on what sort of clothes they wear but, as is often the case with the male species, his reply was an unhelpful grunt along the lines of “the same as we wear in the UK“. This is probably true yet we don’t usually get feets of snow, blizzards or freezing temperatures. However, the past month of English weather may have helped to prepare me. Therefore, I have had to work out for myself what clothes will be essential and so far all I have decided is that thermals were a priority even if they will make me look like a member of the Blue Man Group, especially when my face turns blue in the cold.
I did do a spot of forward planning for the packing and sent Luke over with a suitcase filled with food that I didn’t think I would be able to get in Norway. This caused great amusement for Luke and his colleagues when he transferred the contents into another case for storage. Apparently they do have baked beans (yes, even of the Heinz variety), cream eggs, Jaffa cakes and mustard. This may not have helped me make the best first impressions although my saving grace was the huge jar of Marmite, which still remains a true british product. This meant that it was worth Luke lugging the heavy suitcase on three planes, to various hotels and up lots of stairs even if he might disagree somewhat as he just happens to be a member of the ‘hater’ club when it comes to Marmite. Somehow I don’t think he shares in my happiness that we at least have a jar of Marmite to welcome us when we arrive in Norway.
This whole exercise has also shown me that the packing skills, which I thought had been expertly honed from all our previous travels, is not quite up to scratch. Luke kindly informed me that this became abundantly clear when the contents of my huge suitcase, which he had struggled with all week, were transferred comfortably into a suitcase half the size. Therefore, I have changed the packing game plan and have repacked various suitcases to ensure everything is squished down and every bit of space has been used. I also have a new mantra whilst packing and that is that we are not moving to another planet and they will have things like toothpaste, towels and shower gel in Norway so just pack the essentials. So before I approach the suitcase I can now be heard to mutter “pack the essentials, pack the essentials, pack the essentials”. I had hoped this would work but then again how do you decide what is essential? Is a jar of peanut butter essential? for me yes, for Luke not so much; Are lots and lots of jumpers essential? for me yes, for Luke he can just take a few and he is happy.I have realised that I am not quite as light at packing as I want to be. I always end up looking more like a bag lady than an experienced traveller, and that is just if I am going away for a weekend. Luke’s face fills with horror at the thought of all the various bags I will have to take with us for a ‘trip’ that will last at least a couple of years.
I have discovered a few packing tips which should help me, in theory.
- Roll or fold. Doing both will take up more room (although, deciding on which technique to use is tricky)
- Only take what you can carry on the plane (so there goes all my extra bags).
- Stick to the luggage allowance to save landing a hefty surcharge.
- Remembering that you will be able to buy things over there and you do not have to pack up your whole house (or in my case items that are classed a ‘just-in-case’ for example a dog bowl or monopoly board, which I have now removed from my suitcase and hidden away so they won’t find their way back into the case).
- Everyone packs differently. I pack weeks before but then end up repacking to make sure I have everything. Luke is still packing an hour before we are due at the airport. (I am planning to be out f the house whilst he packs as it will either make me jealous of the ease with which he packs or, if he flapps around looking for the elusive sock or missing charger, I will find it incredibly hard to resist informing him that he should have packed sooner. No one likes to hear that when they are stuck under the sopha trying to look for the missing items).
- If you pack a suitcase early try to store it in a safe place which is easily accessible. (not balance precariously on top of each other so that they fall on top of you, which in my defense has only happened a few times, or that it is like a massive game of Jenga when you realise you have packed items that you still need).
Now all I need to do is find somewhere to unpack all the suitcases, once we arrive in Norway, as we have a slight problem in that we still do not have anywhere to live. We could always put Luke’s love of, or slight addiction to, building flatpack furniture to good use and he can build us a Viking Longship. How hard can that be?
- A travel list that won’t fit in a suitcase (edgeofthearctic.wordpress.com)
- End to Marmite drought in sight (stuff.co.nz)
- Genius Pack Introduces a New Kind of Travel: Technology Integrated Suitcases with Extreme Functionality (pr.com)
- 6 Months, 1 Carry-On Suitcase (electrifymag.com)
- Packing Your Luggage For a Long Vacation (planegrazy.com)