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A suitcase or backpack?
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SweetOne



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:25 pm    Post subject: A suitcase or backpack? Reply with quote

TO: all experienced teachers:

When you make the decision ot go live and work overseas, do you pack just enough clothes to fit into a backpack or do you move with a large suitcase. Confused

When I am travelling for 1 - 5 weeks, I take very little with me. But, I am going to be living overseas and want to know what you, the pros who have done this before, do. I am sure I can make do with a hec of a lot less than I have, but want to make sure I am not under-packing. While I have been something of a clothes hound here in the States, I am inclined to rid myself of the majority of items in my wardrobe. Having lived in Colorado for many years, I acquired a huge assortment of clothes, due to extreme weather changes, sense of style, etc. Turkey is similar, I think, in that it has the full variety of seasons and in some parts, is quite fashion-conscious. (I'll be in Bursa) I am planning on being there for at least a year, so I will see all 4 seasons. I realize I will not be working 24/7, and the kids really don't care what I am wearing, but what do you guys/gals do? This may seem terribly basic to some of you, but please, your experience and guidance is requested and appreciated. Thank you. Very Happy
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Cobra



Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teachers pack suitcases. Teachers will use their vacation time to travel and see China.

Backpackers pack backpacks. Backpackers will interrupt their travel for the necessity of teaching, but only when absolutely necessary.

Which one are you? Pack accordingly!

Yes this is a bitter post because we have seen far too many backpackers in China who ruin it for the serious teachers. Sorry!
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8998
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bring one of each. I'm a teacher. I teach for the time in my contract, send stuff home and then travel and more on to the next teaching assignment.
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Jess_Laoshi



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Currently Austin, TX

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I overpacked massively when I moved to China. When it came time to pack up again and come back to the states, I really wished I had brought less crap with me. Won't make that mistake again.

I don't know really what you can get in Turkey and what you can't, but I'd imagine you're probably not too limited. I recommend packing light. Find out what you won't be able to find easily in Turkey and bring that stuff plus a reasonable amount of clothes. I brought clothes to China that I never ended up wearing, so I'd suggest that while you're packing, give thought to the stuff you include. Bring your favorite clothes, the stuff that you tend to wear a lot at home, not the stuff that sits in your closet. Do it well in advance so you don't just end up throwing a bunch of stuff in the suitcase out of panic either.

As for suitcase or backpack, I agree with naturegirl. Bring one of each. Even though backpacks are for backpackers(!) and you're presumably a teacher and not a backpacker, if you intend to do any travelling you'll want a backpack rather than a suitcase. I brought both to China, but honestly probably could have left the suitcase at home since I brought so much extra crap. I would have wanted the backpack with me though just for convenience sake.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Overseas" like its neighbour "Abroad" is a large and diverse place.

It depends where you are going. What you might have to take to China might be easily available and cheaper in saudi Arabia.

Narrow down where in "Overseas" you are going.


Last edited by scot47 on Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember bringing two huge bags (probably big enough to carry a few full-grown men) and two carry-ons with me to the Czech Republic. I knew that I'd be there for a year or so, so I wanted to pack accordingly. Unfortunately, I also spent some time in London and Amsterdam before I got to the CR, and I had to lug a year's worth of crap with me through airports, the Underground, etc. Imagine my shame showing up in hostels and having to find storage for everything... Meanwhile all the cool backpackers had all of their supplies neatly stowed on their backs.

I tend to overpack--not clothes, but books, teaching materials, sentimental stuff (there's always room for another stuffed animal in my bags)--but I try to avoid suitcases, because they're so darn unwieldy. I go for extra-large duffel bags. I just recently relocated to rural Japan. I packed for spring/summer/fall, and mailed my winter stuff to myself. I have yet to get the hang of packing for different occasions/situations, though. I have plenty of work clothes (thankfully, my school isn't too formal, and I can get away with just about anything other than jeans/shorts/tank tops), but then the weekend rolls around and I realize I don't have enough weekend-y clothes.

Not being a backpacker (as in, never having gone backpacking anywhere/never having really "experienced" the outdoors), I also neglected to bring a backpack. When I travel, I have to use the carry-ons that I brought with me. How I wish I had had the foresight to bring a backpack!

d
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strange as it may appear to a newbie - some suitcases don't pack more than a backpack does, and vice versa!
You can make a social status statement through your choice of the container that packs your things.
Some CHinese lug their things around in those blue-white-red bulky plastic bags with a zipper on top. That might be the suitable container for a Turkey-bound English teacher who shuns Louis Vuitton suitcases and the too-telltale rucksacks!
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lajzar



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 647
Location: Saitama-ken, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is modified by how much you are allowed as luggage. For all economy class flights (ie anyting that an efl teacher is likely to use) leaving the UK, the weight limit is 20kg of cargo, plus one piece of hand luggage weighing no more than 8 kg, and with dimensions notably smaller than a backpack. I believe the US luggage limits are significantly more generous.

You country of departure influences your luggage far more than you may think.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When you make the decision ot go live and work overseas, do you pack just enough clothes to fit into a backpack or do you move with a large suitcase.

When I am travelling for 1 - 5 weeks, I take very little with me. But, I am going to be living overseas


Stop. Read only this part carefully.

I think you have just answered your own question right here. Of course, it may depend on where you are going. Got any ideas?

If you wind up going somewhere that requires a suitcase, avoid overpacking as follows. Pack only the clothes you will wear in one week at work by mixing/matching 2 pairs of pants and some shirts, then a pair of jeans and a couple of shirts for casual wear. Two pairs of shoes (one for dress/work and wone for play). Throw in underwear, and you have just packed your clothes. Consider what are the first 2 seasons you will face, pack the above list of clothes only for that period, and ship the rest (have someone else do that for you) a month or so before the next season begins.

Your carry-on is a backpack, isn't it? Your luggage should be a suitcase and garment bag. Just my way of thinking.
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SweetOne



Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys, I had to re-check my original post after reading a couple of the responses. (Scot47 and Glenski) I did say, however, that I will be going to Turkey, so that should help clear up any questions (or answers) you may have for me relative to my destination. But, again, I say: I will be going to Turkey, not "overseas" or hence, it's neighbor "abroad". Very Happy

What about personal hygiene products? A huge bottle of shampoo or can I get decent stuff IN TURKEY? (just teasing you two, is all)

I like the idea of having my stuff shipped over, but YIKES, that must cost a bundle. Confused
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know the situation in Turkey, but if there are specific types/brands of shampoo, etc. that you prefer, you may want to bring extra. I am very grateful to have a mother who is very willing to mail me anything that I need and can't find here--I didn't have to worry about packing as much.

In a lot of countries, finding decent deodorant seems to be difficult.

Oh, and shipping stuff does get pricey, but then, it may be worth it--I had to decide between paying to mail myself a heavy winter coat that fit me, was of decent quality, and was moderately stylish (and which I had purchased at a substantial discount) or waiting until I got to Japan and hoping to find something appropriate at a decent price. I chose the shipping option. It cost about $30, I think (or was it $50?), to slow-boat it over there, and I got it in about six weeks.

d
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lucy k



Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 82
Location: istanbul, turkey

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2003 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just starting my second year teaching in Turkey. When I came last year, I also packed one suitecase and one backpack (as another poster mentioned). I like having a backpack with me for traveling on holidays. And they do actually hold more than one might imagine. As far as personal hygiene products in Turkey, you can get just about everything you would find in the USA, but there isn't as much variety. I agree that if you like a certain brand of things such as deodorant, you should bring it with you. If brand doesn't matter, no problem. Also, things such as one-a-day vitamins are more expensive here, so I always try to bring a supply with me from home, just for the cost. I think the most important thing in Turkey is to have a good winter coat and walking shoes, since you'll spend alot of time walking to most of your destinations. But coming from CO, you should be set! Also, clothes here are smaller than in the USA, something to keep in mind if you're planning to buy clothes here. Good luck!
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Capergirl



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 1232
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with those who say "both". You wouldn't believe the stuff I took with me to Korea. Rolling Eyes My then-bf and I had filled two hockey bags and a large suitcase (and our two backpacks Laughing ). Ah well, you know what they say about hindsight. Wink

I think backpacks are great for going on vacation, especially if you are going somewhere hot and don't need to pack many clothes. You definitely won't regret taking one, in any case.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8998
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, consider this. HOw easy is it to lug around. Personally, I find it easier to carry something on my back, than to drag it around. It's also much, much easier when you have to run for a train, bus, etc. Or when working your way through overcrowded Chinese trains.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8998
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2003 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SweetOne wrote:
. But, again, I say: I will be going to Turkey, not "overseas" or hence, it's neighbor "abroad". Very Happy ?


The difference between overseas and abroad would be . . ? Overseas meaning across the big pond and abroad, simply another country?
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