5 Don’ts When You Are Packing For Expatting

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Time passes by….

I can’t believe the 8 months since I’ve left Romania have passed so fast. Here I am now, ready to start another adventure. My classes have finished so I can’t say I am a student anymore (damn it, my success in getting men will drop dramatically). And the saddest thing is that I have to leave this wonderful place which I deeply love. Madrid really made me feel like I am home. So for the last days I found myself staring at the people on the street, looking at the buildings with eyes of a tourist, going to my favourite places just to “do it again”.

I am leaving Madrid just for 3 months but I feel like I am leaving the love of my life here. This is the right way to describe it, I feel I am breaking up with the man of dreams, like I will never see him again, never feel his warm caress or feel its soul vibrating and his heart beating next to mine.

Obviously I am depressed (a thing that didn’t happened when I left my hometown) so probably there is a magic spell that Madrid does to whom ever comes here. Once you’ve lived here, your heart will stay in Madrid forever, no matter where you go.

The bear and the Madroño tree or DE MADRID AL CIELO

The bear and the Madroño tree or DE MADRID AL CIELO

Ok, I know that home is where your heart is. But what on earth should I do with all the stuff I have here? And I mean stuff like: blankets, pillows, clothes and cooking tools (oh, please don’t laugh…I do cook from time to time 😛 ). Try to picture my situation:  I filled up 3 boxes and sent them to Romania, I’ve left 4 boxes here and I still have a trolley to take with me on the plane!

8 months packed in 6 boxes

8 months packed in 6 boxes

Now, the following question naturally comes up: did I really need all this stuff? And the answer is: CLEARLY NOT.

Half of the clothes I carried with me from home I never wore; half of the towels and blankets were still in their original wrapper so this made me wonder if I am insane. Why did I take these all? Just to have what  to pack again for 3 entire days when I could have spent my time enjoying the “siesta”(the nap after lunch-don’t ask me if it’s legal, of course it is), the sun and Madrid.

Due to this exhausting activity, I’ve decided to write down a What-not-to-do when you’re expatting list. Here you have it (trust me, it’s been self-tested):


  1. When you leave, don’t pack all your clothes, you definitely won’t need 15 pairs of jeans and another 10 different pairs of trousers if you go away only for a few months (and you are going home quiet often).
  2. Once you arrive, don’t buy 2 pairs of identical things, you will only use one. So no 2 blankets, no 4 big, medium, small towels, no 2 boxes of 6 glasses, no 2 sets of forks and knives.
  3. When you start packing for return, don’t bring boxes/trolleys bigger than you can carry. Otherwise you’ll have to beg for help!
  4. Don’t buy fewer boxes than you think you need. You’ll need MORE of them as all the world knows that women are “keepers” – this meaning we don’t throw stuff.
  5. And last but not least, don’t buy more food than you can eat, two days before departure! Or you’ll have to eat everything, or to feed the poor!

My final advice is: keep in mind that everything you bring with you, will have to be unpacked and plus the extra you buy, will have to be packed again. I know….it’s painful.

PS: It’s ok to bring as many pairs of shoes as you want. Also make-up. And it’s ok to buy any quantity of these two, wherever you go and no matter how many you have. After all, we are all humans!

Alexandra Dinca

Alexandra is a Romanian girl attending a MSc in Hospitality and Tourism Management in Madrid.

She traded her professional experience in auctions because she trusted Confucius saying "Chose a job you love and you will never have to work day in your life".

Gourmand, passionate about Real Madrid and a luxury-lover she will represent Madrid.

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