What’s in my bag?

After scouring the internet for all things South Korea and suggested items to pack, I’ve finally consolidated the list and feel confident I have enough of the comfort staples to get me through the year without feeling like I’m bringing all of my worldly possessions along for the ride. Korea is also a readily-accessible country, so I’ll most definitely be shopping at local shops, too. I’m also thankful for the friends who will be able to visit and bring me any items from home I may be missing.

Clothes

I love a good deal on wardrobe items I need, along with hitting the thrift store racks to supplement other clothing essentials. My work dress code will be pretty casual, but I’ve packed a few pairs of dressier pants and casual pants to alternate, depending on the weather and occasion. The majority of the blouses/shirts I’m taking are easily packed without wrinkling, which will be great not only for packing but when I wash them in Korea. I’ve heard washers are readily available in apartments, but not dryers. So that’ll be great when having to air dry everything.

Shoes

Who doesn’t love shoes? When it comes to shoes, I’m all about efficiency in them for multiple occasions, as well as ones that will be comfortable enough to withstand the wear and tear of many miles spent exploring a new country. I’ve packed a variety including boots for the extreme winter weather as well as my latest obsession, flats from Rothy’s. I’ll be packing a pair of cozy Tieks along for the adventure, too.

Work essentials

All the necessary needs not only for teaching, but for documenting my time abroad! Laptop, tablet, phone and GoPro (now you know why I really needed that GoPro, right, Elliot?!) along with all the appropriate adapters so I can properly charge up without frying them when I’m in Korea. I purchased one universal adapter (pictured in next section), as well as a few individual adapters specific to adapt to a C/E/F outlet. It was relieving to see a majority of my electronics were already in the right voltage range for both the U.S. and Korea. Here’s a handy little reference guide if you haven’t had to deal with this issue before. Another thing I made sure to do before leaving is convert my money from U.S. dollars to Korean won. Just one less thing to check off the list now and not stress about once I land in Seoul.

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South Korean money is pretty

General travel essentials

I fly often for work, but it’s not my favorite pastime. Anything I can do to make this upcoming 19 hour flight more relaxing, I will do! First off, this travel pillow is a beast because it’s super supportive as well as offering “cooling” or “warming” sides. Water bottles are key to keep me hydrated and keep me moving back and forth to the bathroom. Another sexy accessory I will be rocking are compression socks. DVT is real, people, and I do not want to experience it! I also bought a Brita water bottle to use for when I land in Korea, as I’ve read the chlorine taste is strong in the water. I’m a little obsessed with dental hygiene, so as you can see, I am bringing my own stash of toothpaste, too. Not pictured are the many toothbrushes and dental floss to accompany them.

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A few travel staples

Snacks

South Korea is a mecca for all foods I love, but snacks are essential to tide me over in the interim times between traveling and settling into my new home. I also think most people have some sort of portable snack in their bag at any given moment. Or am I biased because I hang out with dietitians and that’s our normal?! Seeing as I’ll be in orientation for a week or so before setting up my apartment, it’s going to be even more crucial I have these on hand so I don’t get hangry. Nobody wants that, regardless of what country you’re in.

88 Acres bars, seed butter and granola

Hannah from 88 Acres was so generous to provide a slew of samples for me when I let her know I was moving out of country and looking for nut-free, portable protein options! These goodies hit the spot and are perfect if you don’t have a huge sweet tooth (me). They’re packed with enough ingredients and flavor going on so as not to just rely on the “sweetness” so common in many bars I’ve tried in the past. I’m really digging their triple berry bars because the tartness from the berries perfectly balance out the slightly salty, crunchy seed blend. The dark chocolate & sea salt seednola has been awesome over plain coconut yogurt for an afternoon pick-me-up or a late night snack. Lastly, their dark chocolate sunflower seed butter is HEAVEN. The richness of the dark chocolate flavor hits the spot for me when I want to dip an apple or pear into something or, let’s be honest, just a spoonful by itself!

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Thanks for the samples, 88 Acres!

Somersault Life Co.‘s sea salt and dutch cocoa sunflower seed crunchy bites

These bad boys have been in the snack rotation for a couple of years now. Again, I prefer salty over sweet items, so the sea salt ones satisfy when I need a savory snack on the run. I’m also the person who prefers 70%+ dark chocolate, so their dutch cocoa bites are equally addicting. The true cocoa flavor is almost bitter and I love it. Sometimes I’ll even put a few of each in a snack container so I get my fix of both. Super wild, right?

This is by no means comprehensive of everything that made it into my two suitcases and two backpacks for the trip, but I figured it’d be fun to share to see what I thought I needed and look at it later to see if there were a few things I could’ve done with or without.

What do you pack when you’re traveling? Does my list match up with some of your must-haves? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you can stay updated with my adventures in Korea!

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