Ultimate Packing List for Freelancers Moving Abroad

So, this is a stressful time. That is perfectly fine. You can be stressed about moving abroad even if this was a very well planned decision and you are fulfilling one of your dreams. Specially if this was well planned: you have been thinking about this for a long time, and concentrated all your planning and anxiety management on one single day and that day is coming. It’s Ok. Tons of freelancers do it and you will do just fine. When you are nearing the date, remember why you are doing this, take time to have fun while preparing and surround yourself with comfies (yes, I just used a noun that is not in Oxford Dictionary. It’s ok. I’m having fun!).IMG_0745.JPG

I have one week to go and I’m sipping tea, packing, and writing this post. And look at the size of that cookie — this is one of my comfies for today!


I digress! Where is that Ultimate Packing List you say? (not being hyperbolic or anything… roll eyes…)

Of course, it all depends on how much you can take with you. I can take two big bags and one carry-on. Here is mine, go crazy with it:

First bag: Essential clothes – this is the stuff that if the world is ending I would have to take with me. Perhaps this is not so exaggerated as you will see by the list.

Up: 13 sweaters and shirts (from formal to casual), 4 basic t-shirts (black and white), (and start laughing by yourself – it is healthy when you realize that you will not be able to take half of what you wanted!)

Down: 3 pair of jeans (black and blue), 1 formal trouser, 2 dresses, 3 skirts, 1 trainer pants

Under: underwear (you know what you need! take as much as you can!!), socks, tights and leggings.

Accessories: 3 round collar scarfs, 2 écharpe, 1 basic jacket, 1 belt (roll it around the case)

On that bag, I still managed to pack one pair of havaianas, 1 lamp (for real!), chocolate (don’t look at me like that), 1 extension cord, 2 big jackets and hygiene products.

In spite of what every “ultimate” packing list says — note the irony of using apostrophes — you MUST take the clothes that you like the most and make you happy. You will need them! So pack that shirt that reminds you of friends or happy times or even take that mug that someone gave you.

Second bag:

On this one, the heaviest, I’m taking books (5), hair drier, iron, that travel mug that makes me happy, drugs, grandma picture, 1 purse, 1 pijama, makeup, notepads, utp cable, favorite tea and coffee, tea strainer, 2 pairs of boots, 2 pair of sneakers.


Laptop, 2 phones, wireless mouse, tablet, chargers, clothes for the weekend, documentation that I’ll need for the uni, pens and pencils, flash drives, external disk, headset, hygiene kit, umbrella.

Good to go and I’m only traveling next weekend. Am I forgetting anything? Let me know!


On other news, I leave you with two very different views of moving abroad by freelancers.

For Barto Mesa – a Spanish translator currently living between Barcelona and Copenhagen – you only really need Internet. He is the lightest packer I know.

For Allison Wright – British translator currently living in Algarve – don’t forget your potato peeler! Here is what she shared:

  1. Don’t ever get rid of the one potato peeler you have had in your life which actually works. You will never find another one. The same goes for your potato masher. If you do not eat potatoes, you’ll be fine.
  2. Always allow in your budget for the cost of getting your paperwork in order. And transport costs to the various public offices you will have to visit.
  3. Learn as much of the language of your new environment as quickly as possible. Don’t let on if you can possibly help it that you speak English. Once people know that, they won’t speak to you in the language of the country.
  4. Watch TV, and practice your pronunciation by learning the adverts by heart. Watch the news.
  5. Keep in touch with your friends and family. They care about you.
  6. It takes longer than you think to settle down.

Thank you guys for the advice and come to visit me!


Um pensamento sobre “Ultimate Packing List for Freelancers Moving Abroad

  1. I look forward to your first post about your new place of abode, Susana, and I hope you settle in quickly.
    By the way, I had no idea you were going to publish all that I said in the message. I might have tried harder, had I known. No harm done! 🙂 You are right about taking the lamp – and the tea strainer. If you can squeeze a hand towel into one of the suitcases, that’s also a good idea.
    Boa viagem!

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