| suitcase (feminine noun) | /valiz/

I didn’t plan on writing another blog post until the day of my departure, but it’s 3 AM, and I felt like writing.

Here’s a small list of what I plan to bring in my small, personal carry-on:


1. Yes To Grapefruit facial wipes, so that I don’t look heinous when I deplane in Paris

2. Beats by Dr. Dre (No, Dad, he’s neither a doctor nor an engineer.), for listening to my audiobook and silencing the sounds of screaming children

3. Bitch feminist magazine, for smashing the patriarchy abroad

4. Passport and euros, and…pounds? (My dad handed me a Ziploc baggie full of assorted foreign currencies.)

5. White Oleander by Janet Fitch, because reading American literature keeps homesickness at bay

6. Moleskin journal, for channeling Kerouac and keeping track of housing arrangements and travel plans

(other, less picturesque necessities) :

7. Burt’s Bees lip chap

8. Kleenex

9. Travel pillow

10. Ear plugs

11. Dramamine

12. Toothbrush

13. Lotion

14. Hand-sanitizer, because humans are gross

15. Portable folder with categorized slots (for plane and train tickets, photocopies of important documents, hotel reservation details, etc.)

16. Mophie portable charger, easier than toting around my phone charger AND converter once I arrive in France

Hope this helps!

About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something insomniac with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I recently graduated with my M.A. in French, and I've spent the past two years living and working as an English teacher in France. I now work as an English professor at a university in Lille, where my students are learning to never omit the Oxford comma.
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3 Responses to valise

  1. Romana says:

    doing TAPIF in Bordeaux shortly and this blog…particularly this post got me way stoked. this may sound all too cliche but do you have any tips for what to tackle/bring along before france that you were wishing you had done/brought?


    • Gabriella says:

      Hey, Romana! Thanks for the comment. One tip: make a million copies of all of your documents (your visa, passport ID page, translated birth certificate, etc.). Your bank, your insurance, and your school will all want copies, and I’m sure you’ll also have to provide them when you start renting an apartment. Also, I brought a few bags of American candy to pass out to my students, and I was constantly telling my mom to send me more in her care packages! It’s something small, but the kids will love you for it. It also got them to behave! Pack a few bags of Jolly Ranchers or Reese’s in your suitcase, and try not to indulge too much during those first few weeks of homesickness!


      • Romana says:

        I’m actually doing one of my last Walmart runs tomorrow! I’ll be sure to pack anything that will broaden their horizons- and be a good motivator. Thanks heaps


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