Is it starting to hit you? Mercy Volunteer Corps Orientation is only two weeks away! Some of you may have your bags packed and ready to go and others are blinking at their empty suitcase thinking I can definitely just pack the night before. Either way, packing for a full year away from home can be a daunting task. Many new volunteers tend to overpack assuming they won’t have access to anything in their new city. So, as you begin to pack (or repack for the 3rd time) here are a few things to get you thinking about what to bring with you:
Essentials – What are the items you cannot go without? First remember your documents and then remember your personal essentials. Here are a few to get you started:
*Photocopies are helpful in the event you misplace your passport. A photocopy verifies your identity unofficially and will help expedite the process of replacing it.
Clothing – Start by packing the basics: socks, t-shirts, etc. Then think about your specific city and service site. Are you taking public transportation on the east coast? If yes, pack for the seasons! Think rain jacket or umbrella, hats and gloves, and comfortable walking shoes. What will your service site be like? If your a nurse, bring scrubs! Here are a few things that everyone should bring:
Toiletries – It is very easy to overpack toiletries but remember that you will be able to buy these in your new city! What you will need for the first two weeks?
Electronic Items – You are welcome to bring your laptop and other electronics but please remember that you are responsible for the items that you bring.
Miscellaneous – All household items are provided so you are not responsible for brining sheets, pillows, pots and pans, etc. Other things that might be useful include:
Pack for your yourself, not for others! Use this packing list and others to get you started but more than anything, trust your own judgement. If you love to be outdoors, bring along your hiking boots, if you hate it, don’t feel like you have to buy a pair. Most importantly, as you start to reevaluate what you are bringing with you, we ask that you keep in mind the tenet of living simply. It is important that you feel comfortable as you relocate to a new city with new community members, but as you are deciding what to bring or how much to bring remember all those you are about to serve. Living simply can be freeing so make sure you leave a little room in that suitcase to try it out 🙂
Comment below with questions or suggestions!