N.B. This post has been delayed by two weeks!
22nd June 2015
Today was the only time this week where I had the whole day to myself to lay all my worldly possessions across a bed and whittle them down until I could fit them into one backpack.
The backpack I chose was this one – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Berghaus-Jalan-65-Womens-Rucksack/dp/B003AM8DGS/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top I believe it’s now been discontinued, which is a shame because it’s really handy for short women as a backpack with wheels. I searched for a while, checking all reviews, and trying other backpacks on in the shops, but I was sold on this one from the start.
One of it’s bonuses is that it has a detachable day bag on the front. The day bag itself could have been made with more compartments and zips but it’s good enough. I easily packed my on board bag with the following items:
- Travel pillow – 2 in 1
- ASUS netbook
- USB Stick & 1TB HDD – good supply of films, music and important documents
- Pebble on the go charger
- Pocket Diary
- Flight socks
- 1 litre water bag – this brilliant bag comes with a carabiner attached so it can attach to my bag as well as be rolled up when not in use. It also stands up on it’s own when full! What a water holder! https://vapur.us/
- 1 change of clothes – you never know if your checked in luggage will make it with you!
- iPod nano
- Toiletries – lip balm, moisturiser, anti bac, minimal makeup.
- Tissues – For the tears at the airport!
- Extra set of shoes
Then came the outfit decisions. These started off slightly excessive, then got cut by one jumper, dress, a few tops, shoes, and a pair of jeans. In the end I managed to pack:
- 3x jackets – waterproof, warm, light
- 1x light blue jeans (I plan on buying a black pair over there)
- 1x dark blue cutoffs
- 3x shorts
- 4x dresses – 2x smart, 2x casual
- 3x long sleeved tops – 1x jumper, 1x cardi, 1x light top
- 4x smart tops
- 7x casual tops
- Shoes – 1x trainers, 3x Toms, 2x sandals, 1x flip flops (thongs!)
I think a lot of people will say that I’ve packed too many clothes, but as I’m heading to Oz at the beginning of their Winter, I’ll need more layers, and I also need the mix of smart and casual for the different things I’ll be doing whilst out there.
After getting the clothes right, I could finally ensure that all the other items I’d collated over the months would all fit in ok. Here’s where you’ll REALLY tell me I’ve packed too much!
All in all it still comes in at under 20kg which means I’m ok flying on any internal flights whilst I’m over there too.
Banking – I’ve already set myself up with a Commonwealth Bank account and have organised to pick up my card at one of their Brisbane branches as that’s my first destination. All they ask is that you print off their Welcome letter, and take that along with your passport as proof of identity.
Even though I’m yet to set foot in Oz, I’ve already arranged for some of my savings to go across into my new account. I researched into Transferwise, HiFX, and Currencies Direct for transferring my money without the extra bank charges, and after going back and forth on who to use, I ended up going with Transferwise for my first transaction.
Transferwise were estimating that they’d give me more than the others once converted, but this will always be an estimate as it fluctuates with the current rate. All I had to do was give them my Aussie bank account number and code, tell them how much I wanted transferring, then arranged through my bank to send the funds to their UK bank account. Once they received my money, which was fairly quickly, they could then continue the process of moving their money around and getting me my converted dollars. By the time I reach Brisbane, I should have a healthy amount of money sitting in my account to keep me going hopefully for a few months.
Work – I don’t intend to work straight away as I’ll be helping out at a relative’s for a few weeks, but I have already put feelers out for volunteer work, and found that the local animal sanctuary would like video editors to make some short films on their wildlife. I contacted them the other day and they’ve already replied saying that they’ll see what I could film when in the coming weeks, so that’s exciting!
House Sitting – Over the last few months I’ve been going back and forth as to what to do for accommodation and how long to spend where. As I had no real plans until around Sept-Oct, I finally made the decision to apply to be a house sitter. I looked into all the sites online and www.trustedhousesitters.com seems to have the most activity on it and, if I get enough house sits, it’ll be the cheapest accommodation out there! You have to sign up for either 3 months or a year, and it’s used all over the world. I’ve gone for the yearly signup and am now trying to get my profile top notch so that people will be willing to use me to look after their home and pets. It would be awesome if I could be staying at someone’s place, walking their dog each day, and getting to know different areas along the coast line whilst I do it!
Other than that, I’m saying my goodbyes, hugging my boyfriend as much as possible, and slightly dreading that Thursday morning flight.