FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Do You Take With You?

feature image via queen b vintage studios

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Good afternoon oysters, and welcome to this Friday’s Open Thread! A time for feelings, a time for gifs, a time for gifs about feelings.

Recently I moved from Montreal to (near) Toronto, and at some unidentified point in the future that might be “late summer” and might be “fall” and might be “hahaha how dare you try to immigrate bitch, DENIED” I’m (hopefully) going to move to Los Angeles.

I never owned a lot of things to begin with, thanks partly to minimalism and partly to brokeness, and the things I do own are fewer than ever. For a while they were spread across three cities — now that they’re lumped into two, it feels both like I have so many objects to deal with and also that all my shit is just shit. (For context, I have about six bankers’ boxes of books and every stitch of clothing I own can and has fit into a smallish duffle bag. I also have this one coffee mug I’m attached to but could leave behind, I guess.)

Part 1 of my move because I don't have a crisp photo of the six boxes in the mostly empty trunk.

Part 1 of my move because I don’t have a crisp photo of the six boxes in the mostly empty trunk.

I love my books, because for me books are the thing, but I’m staring down a move that six months ago was going to be Carolyn and Shannon’s Epic Intercontinental Road Trip In A Car With A Spacious Trunk and now is going to be Carolyn Immigrates As Efficiently As Possible In A Single Flight because I just want to be there, which means I’m moving eight books in my carry on at a time or shipping them to Shannon, dashing heartthrob and the lady I am moving to, in boxes at an estimate of $150 a pop (I think I have the patience to send two of these). Sometimes I mail her random objects when I miss her — my two most favorite sentimental books, a jar, a compass wrapped in socks — but invariably these packages get lost in the mail and invariably this stresses her out way more than me. This means I’m looking at every single thing I own that’s not already in LA with a very critical eye. How much do I love this book? Do I own the ebook version too? Do I want it on my shelf? Do I want it to stay on my shelf while I’m in limbo because it makes me feel like myself and I will miss it, or do I want it on my actual bookshelves so they feel more mine? Going by weight and sentimentality and used bookstore prices, is it going to be more expensive to move or to replace? What do I actually care about?

I don’t believe in life-long favorites of books or of anything, but having to rank and prioritize every single thing I own is turning out to be really interesting. So I wanna know, if you could only take a few things with you, what would they be? In your purse/bag, on a trip, across the country, or across the world.

AS ALWAYS, I also want to know you. I wanna know your soul. Or at least the good news, bad news, gifs, selfies, snacks pet photos, recipes, stories, adventures, naps and Netflix binges that make up part of it.


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Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 895 articles for us.

106 Comments

  1. Oh man, I feel you on the moving thing. I work in theater, so I pack up and move a bunch. I kinda feel like my life is a porous membrane of owning things: stuff comes into my life organically, and then it leaves organically when it’s time. Usually this means that I arrive in a new place, buy a bunch of stuff from thrift stores, and then end up donating most if it back to the same thrift stores. It’s a good cycle.
    I do have a few things that always come with me, though, like a hanging lamp I found in a trash can in Northampton, Mass. I don’t know why, but hanging it up makes a place feel like home.

  2. First of all welcome to LA! Welcome to the City of Angels ♥

    My everyday carry (EDC) includes my wallet, green swiss army knife, watch, contact lens things, a pen and charger. I put them all (except watch) in my saddleback leather case which has accumulated a fair amount of wear that adds to it’s character. Sometimes my gorpo comes along for the ride.

    I know that when I move out I will probably have a lot of tiny things I’ll end up packing. It feels like such a challenge to leave things behind. I mean packing in general causes me stress. How will I bring along all the essentials to CAMP in MAY!

    Anyway! How is everyone’s Friday? How was your week? I’ve been pretty busy with the car. I have de-badged the rear which is something I’ve been dying to do for some time now. The rings will go back on after I plasti dip them. I have been dying to get rid of that chrome. LOL. I have a front grille I’m set to plasti dip also today. I won’t be able to share pix until it’s on the car EXCITED.

    #projectnoname

    Did you guys see the new Star Wars trailer?? It was amazing. CHEWIE!! So in honor, here’s my Star Wars Metal Earth =)


    My wife sent me a vid of Andy sleeping and dreaming about birds the other day. SO CUTE. Here are some pics of the cats being adorable


    look at those belly stripes.

  3. I have three assignments due by the end if the day and i haven’t even started any of them. I’m so stressed but i have myself to blame. This is very unusual for me to do. I’ve always been a bit of a slacker but i always had my assignments in on time. All three of these are late. I’m so bone tired of school. My girlfriend is 12 years older than me (I’m 22) and I usually feel like a baby around her so I don’t talk about school with her often.

    I am also tired of working for $8.75 an hour. I live at home so I don’t have to pay rent or anything but I’m trying to get these loans paid off as soon as possible and capitalism is not cooperating. If i had more coordination and didn’t get cold so easily I’d start stripping and call it a day. Unfortunately I’m stuck peddling pastries.

    On the upside I FOUND MY ALY & AJ CD COLLECTION EARLIER THIS WEEK!!

    Some gifs that made me happy this week:

  4. Aside from bringing an appropriate amount of clothes for whatever my trip will be (especially socks and underwear, gotta have clean socks and underwear), these are the things I won’t leave behind:

    – My Super Bowl XLIX Champions hat. I will require a ballcap because my head feels naked without one, and I waited ten years for that hat. That’s the hat.

    – My cat. Obviously.

    – The lightsaber I made in a week-long fabrication class my senior year of college. I made that sucker. With my own hands. There’s only one like it in the world. It goes with me.

    – The bundle of letters and cards my fiancee has sent me over the years. I have seven years’ worth of them tucked away, from the first relationship that unraveled and the second one that stuck.

    – The sweatshirt I was bequeathed by a senior in my house at Smith when I was a first-year (at our Medieval Banquet, of course), which inexplicably bore the name of my hometown (the only town with that name in the country) even though she was from upstate New York. I still don’t know how she got it. It still smells like Smith.

    – My phone. Its charge cable.

    – My Gameboy SP, its charge cable, and the following games: Pokemon Blue Version, Golden Sun, Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Those games were formative parts of my childhood. And unlike books, it’s so hard to find working copies.

    – My derby gear. I need to be able to join a league ASAP wherever I end up.

    – If the trip is long and I need something to read, I bring one book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

    – I travel in my car if I can. I’m still making payments so I want to continue to get some use out of it.

    If I have money in my bank account and a place to live, this is really all I need.

  5. At one point in my life, I was moving every three or four months for three years in a row. So, I’m pretty good at minimalist packing, hah. Here’s everything I took with me for a three-month trip through Ecuador and Peru:

  6. So relevant to my interests – I spent my day making lists of what to pack for my holiday which is in 10 days, and I’m in the middle of 19 days with no days off until the day I fly and I’m starting to panic.
    I’m better at packing for camping trips than foreign beach holidays. I think this is because my van fits more in it than a carry on, and I know I can pick other stuff up on the way, and I’m allowed more than 100ml containers of liquids and a razor!
    So for camping my additional random items include MTG cards and a Ukulele.
    For the beach I need sunglasses, high factor sunscreen for my tattoos and a good book.
    I managed to squeeze in a haircut in the middle of a split shift this week, some folks may remember my -shall I go back to an undercut after 2 years of growing it out- I did and I feel like myself again, it was revelatory, so many feelings. Seriously. So here’s a pic of that.

    Have a great weekend folks, hope it brings you relaxation for non working folks and to my fellow weekend workers KOKO. We can do this!

  7. my dog
    my record player
    leggings, lounge pants, short-shorts, blue and black jeans, crop tops, oversize sweaters, cocktail rings, nightgowns, a sleep mask i’ll never wear but always know i could
    my mattress rolls up, so
    a tiny wooden table i’ve carried everywhere with me
    i have a few mugs: my apple mug, my “world’s best boss” mug, my peanuts mug, two german christmas mugs, two travel mugs
    an entire box of pink china. i know.
    magazines: two LA weekly issues from the same trip, inevitably a vintage playboy, the rolling stone rick ross cover issue, my drake magazine collection, all the interview magazines i’ll get in the next few months, also my nicki minaj v magazine
    i have two boxes of books, so you beat me.

    inevitably i forgot something, right? oh god this just ISN’T POSSIBLE, i swear.

  8. I haven’t moved in over three years, which was previously unheard of! Now I own furniture.

    I still use a hard copy planner and I’ve never lost it except at home and I freak out about it because my schedule for socializing and three jobs is in there, and ack.

    Otherwise in terms of packing, I was raised with the attitude that packing too much was really ridiculous, so I usually don’t, but I have decided in the last few years it is acceptable to bring products besides deoderant on a trip. And like it’s better if I just being tweezers because otherwise I will spend 3 hours fidgeting one wiryass hair sticking out of my chin and it’s just better I have the tools for my life with me. Also includes lotion.

    Also something to read and knit! I have spent hours of my life waiting for the bus, on the bus, and I need something to busy my devil hands with on the way to work.

    • I wasn’t raised with the attitude that packing too much is ridiculous so I have no idea where I got it. (Maybe because packing too much means I can’t handle my own bag and the idea of having to ask for help with it drives me crazy?) I totally feel you w/r/t growing into feeling like it’s okay to bring more products than deodorant, though. I know I can find shampoo somewhere almost always but I like my own best and I have just embraced that.

  9. I am really bad about being attached to things. I have an ugly red floral sofa that I love to an unreasonable extent. it’s like twenty years old, a hand-me-down from my family, and it squeaks, and I have to have a sofa cover on it because the fabric is all worn out and has rips. and the idea of not moving that sofa with me makes me sad. I really need to get over it.

    I have two decent-sized bookshelves worth of books, but I’m pretty sure I can convince myself to give away some of them.

    giving away a bunch of my stuff has been an on again off again project for me. I’m not very good at it, but I have less stuff than I did a year ago, so that’s something.

    • I had a couch like that! I mean it looked nothing like (off-grey, weird stains) that but also it was exactly like that. Anyway eventually what happens (what happened for me) is that you turn over the idea of moving the couch in your head and then you turn over the idea of not moving the couch in your head and then you decide fuck the couch, I am more than this couch, I do not really know how it fit in the elevator to get it in here anyway and hell if I can get it out all by myself, and then all of the sudden the couch is just a couch that you no longer own.

  10. Happy Friday everyone! Hope it’s been a great day so far!

    What would I take with me? I have so much stuff, but I’m not very attached to it all. What I would take is letters my friends have written me, notebooks full of things from my friends, my laptop that has all my prose writing on it, my poetry journals, and a Legend of Zelda shirt my brother gave to me a few years back. My phone. That’s really all I need, other than my cats, my mom, my brothers and their girlfriends. Everything else are things that can be replaced. Memories and mementos, friends and family are the things that really matter to me.

    My kitties!

    Annie(top) and Shadow(bottom)

    And here's me!

    I really don't have that much to say. Oh! I did begin my search for new pen pals, so hopefully I'll find new people to write to and email!

  11. I feel like I don’t have that many items that I’m really attached to. I have a lot of things, but most of them are still in boxes from when I moved last year. I should donate or sell some of my things to have more room. Maybe I’ll do a spring cleaning and go throw some of the boxes I have.

    The things I’m attached to are not always tactile- memories, music (which is mostly electronic), conversations, people, my dog. My computer itself is not something I’m attached to, but many of its contents (music, Facebook photos, things I’m writing/have written, emails) are. Same with my phone- conversations with my mom, texts that I re-read to remember feelings, the ability to communicate with my sister.

  12. Saying Goodbye and Letting Go of things isn’t exactly my strong suit.
    We moved 13 times by the time I got out of school, including an immigration in and out of the U.S., and I’m at somewhere around 20 moves these days, and my feet still itch.
    I don’t cry anymore, when I say goodbye to people, I just clench my teeth and I hang on to knick knacks that remind me of them, because if I don’t, I’ll forget.
    I really do. Someone stopped me on the street today, telling me her name and where we knew each other from (queer university group) and I had zero recollection of her existence. Zero. Still don’t.
    But I still have a full set of keys to a friend’s apartment that I never managed to return. My friend who’d come over once in a while and spend all afternoon cleaning spiders and cobwebs out of my pantry and telling me the whole time not to feel guilty about my arachnophobia. She moved away, so did I, I can’t reach her anymore, and the keys are fitting doors long replaced or with strangers behind them, now.
    They are not in any special place, they just hang off of a shelf with my extra keys, with keys to locks in use and not, to bikes long stolen, that I still hope are returned someday, with all of the different keychains and with the extra sets of keys other friends, more current, have given me.
    At some point,I’ll sort through my involuntary key collection.
    There are, after all, a few to locks broken or lost and long forgotten.
    But I know I’ll keep that set, useless as they may have become.
    Because someone gave them to me for safekeeping.
    And I might have not loved that someone enough, might have been too busy with my time and myself to keep in touch, might have felt, sometimes, too crowded and been too distant, might have seen and recognised a certain darkness about my friend, yet did not yell at her or push her to get help enough, but, as flawed as I am, I can hold on to those keys.
    I do intend to return them someday, but the possibility that this might not be possible anymore keeps them firmly lodged in the jumble at my shelf, untouched.
    And that is a good place for them, because, you see, I moved into my apartment two years ago, and there are a few boxes that need to be unpacked and sorted through,still, but my life is always so full and busy, I can’t think about keys.
    I can’t afford to think about a lot of things in those boxes, either,so I am very happily paying for storage space until I have managed to sift through, well, everything.
    The charm, you see, is, that I forget, unless I’m reminded.
    Life just goes on in full swing like this, I have a couple of unopened boxes, I lack some furniture, but who cares, right?
    Unless I plan to move again, and my feet do itch.
    But this time, before I move on,I know,that I need to remember, and I while I’m at it, I need to learn not to forget.
    And for that, I’m learning to stand very,very still.

    • I just want to say that this comment resonated with me a lot. I’ve moved around a lot, too – four countries, nine cities, and 27 houses – and I still hold on to things that have long become useless but mean something to me.

      • yes! i do this! i have so many “memory boxes” here in dc and in my old boxes in new jersey that i used to just fill with little mementos of life. when i moved most recently, i decided i was gonna purge and i forced myself to let go of stuff like my first pack of cigs (long since empty, of course), some broken stuff i knew i was never gonna fix, and clothes i don’t wear anymore.

      • Thank you so much for that reply! I always feel that I should and need to and have to throw basically everything out, because of how I think my apartment should look and how I don’t want to be weighed down every time I move.
        I dream of being able to move with just one suitcase.
        But maybe that’s the wrong dream.You just acquire some baggage as you grow older, that’s just the way it goes, I guess.

  13. Things I’ve learned recently:
    1- common courtesy isn’t always common. Life isn’t fair.
    2- honestly I have no right to complain. I have so much opportunity and privilege, and ruminating over relatively minor stuff is pointless.
    3- gratitude is a good way to stop feeling pissed.
    Now, time to redirect my attention to cute otter pictures and tulips.

    My answer to the question is pretty standard: my cat, my phone, my laptop, my car. That’s pretty much all I need, since it also takes care of music, books, and photos. I’m not very sentimental. I’m a minimalist, and moving multiple times has made me even more of a minimalist.

  14. I would take my phone(but upgrade to something with replaceable battery)+charger, my camera with needed accessories of course, a computer, and clothes. In fact this is pretty much how I traveled when I backed packed across UK & Ireland. I had one of those huge backpacks for all my clothes, and whatever booze I was traveling with at the time, and then a bag that held my camera, phone, spare batteries for the phone and camera, tablet, and all the chargers needed it. I ate a lot of ploughman sandwiches and duck wraps from Tesco, but yet lost weight from all the walking.

    I got into an argument with my mother this week because she thinks that the ultimate goal in life is to be married have have kids with your own DNA. She thinks that her uncle being single and sad is evidence that is it pretty much all the case. I dunno, I kind of like being by myself, and starting to think, maybe I am aromantic too? I dunno.

    On the plus side I am feeling better about how I look in bras. I know it feels right when wearing it, but I am slowly feeling more pretty/attractive wearing them.

    Where I went walking late Sunday it was peaceful, mostly.

    I saw this little fellow as I was walking. I think they come out later in the day as I generally don’t see them in the morning.

    Thank you for reading & viewing.

  15. I just moved 3,000 some odd miles across the country and had to, once again, play the game of ‘what do i take with me?’ Fortunately, i’m used to my life being pretty nomadic, so it keeps things relatively light. This time, though, i was moving with my sweet (new to me)old vw truck, so it meant i could bring BOTH my bikes (as a messenger&bike geek, this is important). Additionally i have one large milk crate&three small ones full of books, sketch books, and woodblock carving tools&my stereo. Most importantly though, i have Charles, my life partner in the form of the best stuffed bear i’ve ever known. That’s the sentimental bit i suppose, but we’ve been solid homies for 3 decades. Oh, and i brought some clothes too, they fit into different categories: work, not-work, work-out.

    AND…speaking of moving, i’m new to the Northeast/New England. If you’re out in this neck of the woods, let me know. I’m in New Hampshire, but heading to Northampton, MA to see a show tomorrow night. (Juliana Hatfield Three, my 13-year old self is freaking out because i had/have the biggest crush on her) If anyone has a place i could crash after the show Saturday night, that would be rad.

    Hope everyone out there in the straddleverse has a spectacular weekend!

  16. this is the perfect friday thezad because I’m moving from France to the UK in a month for two years aaaand i just learned i can’t import my french car without paying 2000 bucks worth of modifications on it !

    so the new plan is to fly there which means i need to fit my life into two suitcases…

    WHAT DOES A DYKE NEED IN THE UK ?

    (Obviously my parents will come visit and bring some stuff to me but it’ll be small stuff)

    I’m gonna have to learn to let go of my stuff, it’s gonna be either very zen or very stressful !

    • I moved to the UK 6 months ago and I just brought my backpack full of clothes and a computer. And some converters for power-outlets which is very essential 😉 Until now I survived pretty well, however I just got offered a PhD in the UK so that means I will be here for at least another 3 years. I am really considering if I should move my stuff over I stored at my parents for the time being. But as I don’t really miss my stuff it does seem like a lot of hassle. I don’t really want to sell it either though, especially my books as I have specific memories for each of them.

        • Thanks 🙂 I’m moving to Leicestershire. I’m starting a Post-Doc and am really excited !
          Good luck with your PhD ! Mine was a rollercoster between tears and euphoria!

          But yeah I think I want to use this time to learn to live with less things ? I started buying proper furniture (second-hand) and even my first brand new washing machine and felt like such an ~adult during my PhD !
          But now I want to learn to let go 🙂

    • I tried to reply to this in the am but apparently my phone had other ideas!
      It depends on where in the UK you’re moving to, as Nora says pack for rain… It’s wet here a lot, regardless of where you are, some places are colder and wetter for longer than others i.e. The North and Scotland. I recommend layers, as the weather is super changeable, see the day we had 18 degree (C) heat and snow.
      I’d bring a sense of humour, a willingness to queue and a desire to see as much of this small island as possible, there are some beautiful places that can’t be missed 🙂

      • Yeah i’m leaving the south of France and I’m having definite sad moments about leaving the Sun but also GOODBYE Mosquitoes, I WON’T MISS YOU.

        I’m actually excited to learn more about the famous British sense of humor 🙂 Also forever pissed I can’t bring my car to travel all over, but maybe i’ll meet people who’ll be my drivers 🙂

  17. My grandfather has made me a lot of furniture over my life-a bookcase, and end table, a hope chest, and a few other things. Wherever I move, I make sure I have space for these things.

    Other assorted things that absolutely go with me every time I move: a broken clock made out of a slab of tree, an arrow I stole from summer camp, a globe lamp, my Barney sleeping bag, and a little cast aluminum dog figurine I won selling Girl Scout cookies a billion years ago.

    My house is really cluttered and I’m not into minimalism, but I am an expert for packing on vacation. I’ve worked at summer camp for 10 years and I can manage two months in the woods on 7 outfits.

  18. I’m so attached to things – they remind me of what happened around them (on them? heh), I like thinking about the monumental events they witnessed throughout my life (I’m personifying, I know, shh).

    I also feel like I move all the damn time, and usually I fill an entire moving truck soo this whole emotional attachment to innatimate objects thing really doesn’t work for me.

    • I love thinking about that too! Especially things that were around since before I was born. I read this really cool book one time where the main character could talk to anything that was made by a human (like cars, houses, machines, etc.) and since then I’ve always wished I could do that too and hear the stories they could tell.

    • This is exactly what stresses me out about stuff! It has all these ideas attached, and sometimes it’s cool that something has been through however many apartments or however many things with me and it’s here now and remember that time it fell off that table and got that scratch, but also sometimes it’s nice when a lamp is just a lamp.

  19. My mum and I went to a queer burlesque show tonight! There were boys in thigh high boots and not much else, and a gorgeous diva playing with fire, and so much more. We were drinking bubbly and I wore a fabulous dress, it was a great night 🙂

  20. I think I would definitely want my costume box to take with me- sure its a box filled with a billion other things, but if I didn’t have my variety of hats, ears, and onesies to take with me it just wouldn’t feel like home. Especially since most of them have some sentimental value or at least a semi-fond memory, it would just be too hard to get rid of them. Also I would fill the bottom with pictures and posters to hang because I’m really bad at picking one sentimental thing.

  21. I am so glad I’m not going to be moving for quite a long while. Funny enough my roommate is moving out tomorrow and she is the COMPLETE opposite of minimalist. She has so much stuff! She took up most of the space in the apartment and me and my other roommate are so incredibly excited to now have ALL THE SPACE!

  22. Time is starting to blur together as the pre-finals crunch begins and I had a civil “argument” with 2 walking talking homophobia tropes either this week or last week.
    I feel some sort of pride I managed to not say, “I’m living proof you can’t fuck the gay or straight out of a person.”, or something to that effect. That’s proper adulting right? Not being crude and shit.

    Secondary reason I’m glad I did not say something like that is Person 2 hails from a region where corrective rape is a thing and some men seem to think a woman just hasn’t meet the right factory standard penis yet. Just need some proper dicking and that pretty girl will suddenly not be pretty to you anymore. Nope nope and nope she’s still pretty and I still would like to lick her pussy sorrynotsory.

    It’s not that feared this man would try to “convert” me against my will or something just dick talk and crudely trashing the phallocentricity of this world is very unprofesh and I have little filter when it comes to details on sex talk.

    So like a real adult type person I took the road of not going down the cliff of crude which is more a spiral black hole thing with me. And went with the guilt inducing let’s a agree to disagree and part civilly before someone’s feelings get hurt
    Like an immature little shit tho while signing out of the lab I muttered, “But alas I’m a bisexual atheist I hurt everyone’s feelings.”

    I think Person 1 heard me but I don’t care she reminded me of the children that shoved me in a garbage can back in kindergarden and some other unsavory lowlifes I can verbal eviscerate/make cry or anger into doing something stupid like punch me first so I can take possession of their arm and then pull a most gleeful Pai Mei.
    Make I should care because dealing with years of suppressed shit right now makes feel more destructive some days and pulling a Spock harder than it use to be.
    Eh but cowards usually need a back up or an audience to pull their shit and Person 1 is an underclassmen and I very likely will not encounter her on a regular basis.

    On scale of Fight Club to Seinfield how unbalanced does all this seem FOT?
    Fight Club is 1 stop listening to the Helena mix and try some deep breathing you wack job and Seinfield is a 10 go read a book and take a nap.

    Oh here’s the Helena mix:
    http://8tracks.com/entze/much-leg-rooms
    It is much boss my sestras.

  23. I shall not be packing light (household-wise) for about 7 years, as two extra large dogs and two extra large dog crates are the basics. Once you have them, you may as well rent the truck and take the beloved recliner, handmade bookshelves, cedar chest, and sewing machine.

    Things I could give up? $5 garage sale microwave that is kind of awful but I’ve kept using it anyway, most craft supplies, a tent I really only use theoretically, and some kitchen items given to me that aren’t really things I use. I cull books regularly, so I might give up a few the next time I move, but probably not many.

  24. I will very shortly be without permanent residence for at least a year (I mean hopefully because that means I got the winter job I want).

    My essentials (for the next 3 months at least):
    -laptop/charger
    -phone/charger
    -sleeping bag (I’m probably keeping both because one is super-uncomortable-for-summer warm, one is not very warm, and also I get cold super easy)
    -hammock/fly
    -2 burner camp stove
    -1 frying pan
    -1 pot
    -2 each plates, bowls, sporknives
    -tarp
    -my kayaks & paddling gear
    -deck of cards
    -clothes
    -2 thermoses
    -knitting (I have a lot of free time)
    -2 towels
    -pillow
    -cameras
    -speakers
    -camp chair

    i’m also debating if I want to bring the tent too or not because when it’s raining all day, it’s pretty shitty to just have the hammock to stay 100% dry in

  25. When I was little I used to lay awake at night thinking about what I would take in a fire. At the time is was: my lizard, my Curious George stuffed animal, my box full of rocks and I’d have to have time to find the cats.

    Now my wife and I are moving across the country in May with two large dogs, one tiny dog and five years of accumulated lifejunk, so I think about this DAILY.

    Bikes, books, instruments, dogstuff, hockey equipment, skateboards, sweaters. A couple kitchen things that seemed worth schlepping. And so many rocks and shells and bones that we can’t let go of. And why do we have so many coats?!?!

  26. I work in theatre and have been living a nomadic lifestyle for about 5 years. I’ve lived in 6 different cities in 4 states in 5 years, and I usually pack up my car and move 2-3 times a year. (I’ve lived in the same place more than once.) I have 2 giant Army surplus duffel bags for clothes and shoes, a big rolling suitcase for my DVD binder and books and other electronics.

    The most important thing though is my Army surplus footlocker (Army surplus stores are great, y’all). It’s my tool shed/medicine cabinet/junk drawer. It’s has everything you could need. A first aid kit, office supplies, batteries, flashlights, extra cords and chargers and earbuds, a rice cooker, extra toiletries, bug spray, chapstick, Christmas lights, glowsticks, sweater shaver and more. Whatever is ailing you, whatever you need, it is in that footlocker. These are the types of things you accumulate naturally when living somewhere for a while but don’t really think about needing until you need it.

  27. AH! So relevant to me right now, I swear you guys read my mind. I’m going on a nine month exchange from Australia to France in a few months, and of course I can only take 23kg worth of check-in luggage. Freaking out a bit.

    I guess the most important practical things to take will be:
    – laptop including charger
    – mobile including charger
    – international powerpoint thingy… ykwim
    – underwear including thermals and gloves and socks
    – a few outfits
    – sneakers, thongs and walking boots
    – diary and planning book
    – all necessary travel documentation
    – toiletries
    – handbag including wallet, hand sanitiser, sunscreen, reading glasses etc.
    – sleeping bag

    The only really sentimental thing I know I’m taking is my teddy.

    And when I get back, I’m most probably moving to a new city which is really scary.

  28. Oh boy! How I love moving! My home country is Peru, I moved to the States and I have lived in Pennsylvania, Dallas, New York and Florida. All weird different experiencees. I was carrying two big and overweight bags, but then I finally moved in with my girlfriend in Norway! Talk about travelling with all you own across continents!

    Now we are moving back to Peru for 6 months (to relax, mainly) and then travel around South America for another 5 before coming back to the capital of Norway, Oslo, to live for a few years (probably 7, girlfriend will be a vet) and then who knows where else in the country we will go! (I am hoping for Kristiansand!)

    This is the non-clothes we will be bringing to Peru for our trips:

    Our phones, ipods and one tablet aren’t in the picture. I wouldn’t leave my ipod behind or my hearing aids! 😀 I guess a passport is as important. That would be all I would bring if I had to leave it all.

    Can I make a little “cherry” and mention that if you want to know more about this trip, you can check our blog: https://localexplorers.wordpress.com/ ? 😀

  29. Wait, Carolyn, do you have a car? If you can drive your books across the border into the US you can ship them from a post office by media mail! I shipped four entire bookcases worth of books this way from Oregon to DC in 2013, and paid about $110 in total (it was definitely over 15 boxes of books!). I strongly recommend doing this!

    According to the post office: “Whether it’s next door or a thousand miles, a 1 pound Media Mail package costs $2.38 for postage while one that weighs 20 pounds goes for $9.79. As a seller, you know in advance the Media Mail rate for items shipped to/from any “Domestic U.S.” destination.”

  30. Oh yeah, when I moved to India in October I brought the following things:
    A neck pillow (fucking essential)
    Sneakers and two cheap pairs of flats
    Two pairs of pants
    Pajamas
    Some underwear, two bras, some ankle socks
    About six shirts
    One book
    One headlamp
    One vibrator
    Some crayons
    About five pounds of candy
    Electronics: laptop, Kindle, cell phone (each of these with case and charger), two plug adaptors
    A fuckload of sunscreen

  31. Guess what? Are you ready? It’s very big news.

    I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!

    Meet my new housemate, Frankie:

    Nobody warned me about how it would make me in to an adult overnight, especially with my friends who have already married and have kids. They are suddenly looking at me in a new light, almost like they’re relieved that I finally got it together.

    Settlement is 50 days away and I want to move, NOW. I am SO READY to have my own place.

  32. I think about this too often, but I guess it’s because I’ve moved sooo much in my life. Probably twice a year for a solid 10 years there, so being in the same house for the last year and a half was actually fulfilling a real need I’d developed over that time for some stability. I’m looking at having to move again soon, and it’s breaking my heart because I’ve been living in a beautiful house by a park with deer and it’s quiet and really a little storybook cottage.

    I have always had a ‘grab and go’ suitcase and plan. This could be somewhat fatalistic of me, or I may have a problem with egomania, in that I may be convinced that one day I will be wanted by some spy agency and I will have to make like an internationally wanted political fugitive and skip the country. I do not have any valid reason for this delusion, I swear.

    My grandmother’s suitcase is an old burgundy pleather suitcase from the late 70’s which contains my childhood things, photo albums, family memorabilia, my grandfather’s old wallet, a copy of my master’s thesis, and some old clothes and a crochet throw which has sentimental value. Essentially, should the authorities be on to me, I plan to take this, my cats, and my passport, which I actually carry with me at all times as something of a security blanket because of this paranoia about needing to suddenly flee the country at a moments notice. Between these things and an armful of clothes, I figure I’m good to go, worst case scenario.

  33. Omg this is such a hard question. I can get so sentimental about things. Probably I would mostly take books, or old birthday cards, or things that my grandparents/parents/best friends have given to me. I definitely get too attached to stuff though, because it was a huge pain in the ass when I moved houses almost a year ago. Boxes of books are heavy y’all!! Thank goodness I’m staying here for at least another year so I don’t have to worry about this issue quite yet…

    Hope everyone’s having a great weekend! I went for a hike this afternoon and it was really nice (there was a cute girl there 🙂 )

  34. I am like a goldfish and have grown to my environment (amassed a lot of STUFF).

    Important things to take:
    -melamine bowls
    -pretty dresses
    -bicycle

    I think I could leave a lot of stuff behind if I had to.

    Moving sucks (speaking of which- any London based straddlers wanna buddy up and make a new lovely queer household?)

  35. Los Angeles misses you a lot and is really excited for you to make your way back to your apartment here, in Los Angeles. And you should hurry, because your dumdum girlfriend here keeps killing your succulents.

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