I have now lived in Berlin for approximately three days. It's not a tremendously long amount of time, but I can already feel myself settling into a rhythm here.
It has been a hectic few days since stepping off of the plane in Germany (although to be honest, the stress and confusion began long before then -- before we even boarded the plane, when there was confusion about our visas and readiness to fly at the Boston airport). We have sat through long hours of orientations, taken local and city tours, and begun our own exploration of the neighborhoods and areas around us. Although Germany is a unique country in its own right, I have managed to patch together a rudimentary understanding of its workings through my pre-existing knowledge of Polish culture and -- especially important to college students who are cooking for themselves -- grocery stores.
Today I purchased a backpack for myself from locally popular brand Herschel, as well as picking up some basic cooking ingredients. The program stops feeding us tomorrow, and the days (weeks?) of ramen noodle microwaving and going out for meals will begin. Beyond that, there is not much to report. Classes begin on Monday, and I am excited to start college.
Inshallah things continue to go well here -- I am looking forward to hopefully working with refugees during my time in Berlin. I will try to update soon with more news.
🎶Hi, Hey There, Hello - The Mowgli's🎶
Well, here we are again. T-10 days to hopping a plane out of the country, and I've once more begun to pack. At this point I think I can list stuffing suitcases as a skill on a résumé quite comfortably; in the last twelve hours, I have succesfully managed to get myself about 50% of the way packed -- based mainly off of a collection of lists I had pretyped over the summer.
As such, it seems to me that now is as good a time as any to offer up packing suggestions for those embarking on similar expeditions of their own -- be it a college study abroad or a full year (or more!) of immersion.
Probably the most important suggestion I can give you is to pack light. As anyone who's seen my suitcases can tell you, that's one tip I struggle to follow myself -- but something that I genuinely wish I was better at. At the very least, remember to leave yourself space in your luggage on the trip out. This way, you will have space in your bags for the multitude of assorted things you purchase for yourself over the course of your stay (because trust me, you will be buying things).
Another important thing to remember, especially when packing long-term, is to bring individual pieces rather than specific outfits. What this means is that instead of bringing a brightly patterned pair of pants that will only match with your one black t-shirt, you could bring a pair of solidly colored jeans which would be more versatile, and would provide a variety of outfit options. This strategy will help you keep your limited wardrobe fresh for the duration of your trip.
My third and final tip for travelers is to remember to pack for a well-rounded experience. Don't forget your passport and other security documentation while you're collecting your pumps and going-out clothes. On the same note, don't pack for only one type of weather. If you're staying for a month or more, chances are you will experience at least some mild variation in climate, and you'll want to be prepared. Always pack a rain shell just in case.
That's all I've got as far as general suggestions for packing -- but feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions (or need ideas for things like host family gifts if you're doing a homestay). Other than that, the next time you'll be hearing from me is after I set up in Berlin!
Safe travels, all!
🎶Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves🎶
Hi! My name is Karla Cox. This blog is a compilation of notes, thoughts, and photos from my travels around the world.