***Packing Light and Traveling Abroad***

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You guys know I went to Bolivia last month, right? Well during the beautiful blizzard we had this morning, I took some time to remember how beautiful and warm Bolivia was and how I was there not too long ago. And that's when I remembered I had a post lined up that went along with my Bolivia post that never got posted... so here it is... it's a fun one, I promise. 

The topic is Packing Light and Traveling Abroad! I realize that traveling light doesn't come easy to some, and as someone that refused to go anywhere without her entire book collection and 3 different marker sets when she was younger, I feel like I've changed for the better. This last time I went to Bolivia I felt like I packed pretty well, especially knowing I was going to be there a little over two weeks. If you're interested, I did post my carry on contents over here! And a couple of months ago I posted my travel essentials, though those have kind of changes a bit.

It has been a while since I had traveled. The last time I left the country was back in June when we took a family vacation to Mexico and I felt like I took the shortest amount of time to pack out of anyone because I've come to the realization that living out of a suitcase has become rather... normal for me. SPAIN HAS CHANGED ME. I need far fewer things to keep around me, even at home. I have my few essentials that I desperately need and then there's the stuff I like but I don't need. Hey. If you ever get to live anywhere for 9 months and have to make the decision of taking certain things with you or leaving them behind never to be seen again, you'll be changed, too. 

While we stayed in Bolivia, we got to stay in a condo my family has been constructing for the past year or so and it is finally in good enough condition for us to stay whenever we go! This was our first time staying there, so... there wasn't any furniture besides the beds and a night table in every room. But you know what, we found that we really didn't need much more than that. Not even a mirror, if you can believe that. We would go into the elevator to check ourselves in the mirror on the wall. Eventually we did get two tiny mirrors but we never really used them.

This is what stayed on my nightstand the entire time! Though we all brought our laptops, we didn't have wifi in the condo. IT WAS PRETTY ANNOYING? But my brother found a way to get service on his phone by changing out his sd card and he was able to tether for us if we needed it for an emergency or anything (or when I wanted to chat on Facebook with Josh >.>) but we never used it with our laptops. I actually mainly used my laptop when I wanted to watch Sex and the City or movies that I already had downloaded. I would actually listen to music on my iPod until I fell asleep some nights and most of the time I read to fall asleep. Not pictured here is my 3DS which I also kept on my nightstand which I also played way more than I do now that I'm back home. I played while waiting for my parents to get ready or on our down times when I didn't feel like walking to my grandma's for wifi. Yeah, I had to walk a couple of blocks to get proper wifi and I could only do that if we didn't have plans. KIND OF ANNOYING but in the end I think it was best because the main reason we went to Bolivia was to be with family not be on the internet. And of course, I had to have a picture of me and Josh near the bed. IT WAS TINY but it did the job. 

As far as makeup goes, I don't think I needed a lot. But I definitely needed more than I did when Josh and I traveled in Spain. I used my Too Faced Natural Eye palette almost every day and my Life Palette in Love Life the most. I loved using my Life Palette but I feel like some of the colors could definitely be more pigmented. I brought a mini case with some brushes to apply most of my makeup and my eye lash curler. My every day makeup routine was the L'Oreal True Match compact makeup, blush, mascara and occasionally eyeshadow. The possibility of buying makeup in Bolivia was absolute zero. Neither I or my cousins knew of a good place to get makeup in Bolivia, and the products I already had are considered luxury products over there. I mean, even the makeup artist we hired wanted to use my makeup over her own! This is Bolivia, though. If you're going somewhere in Europe or Australia or a place that you know has their own brands and products you can't find anywhere else, I highly encourage you to try out new things! Maybe you'll find your new holy grail product and order more through an online shop when you get home! 

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As far as skin routine, it was a bit tricky. I'm used to going to Bolivia in Winter when the weather is really dry, but it was summer over there and the weather really wasn't very dry. I came ready with my lotions and face creams and my moisturizer XD As you can see, I don't need anything major, but I knew these needed to come with me. Morning and night cream are essential for me because taking care of your skin is so important when you travel! I can't tell you how stressed I felt about all the changes I was going through and it was showing in my skin >.< The first week was a bit rough because my body was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHERE AM I but after consistently doing my routine skincare I was back to normal~ I only brought one perfume (because it was one of the two I own.) and an EOS lip balm that I applied religiously. I also only brought three earings and two necklaces that I cycled through while over there. I didn't want to risk anything getting lost.

As far as bathroom essentials, I brought a regular sized Rusk shampoo, a Dove soap, Tea Tree body wash and shaving cream. I don't bring travel sized products because what the eff is that I am going to need more than travel sized products. I suggest that you bring one regular sized products of whatever you normally use abroad and when you get to your destination you try to find an alternative to them if you need more. But at least you'll have like half a month to a months worth of product in the mean time. It's fun to experiment, but when you go abroad, there are some things that you just need that you won't find over there. I know my skin is sensitive and will reject anything other than Aveeno or a really hydrating cream, so I couldn't budge on that one, and the same goes for the soap. Shampoo wasn't too big of a deal, but you get the idea. While I was in Spain I tried to make the products I brought from home last as long as possible because it was so difficult to find alternatives there.

Along with packing light for the trip, I also packed very light with my purse. It's very dangerous to go out to the city with a purse or even with any jewelry on, so I decided to stick to a very simple purse. This is a Coach cross-body bag that fits the bare essentials. If I could fit the bare essentials in a purse for two weeks, you should be able to as well. I initially bought this purse to use in Spain because I wanted to carry around something small and only have things I really needed on me... that changed after about a month. Europe has really pretty bags, ok? But anyway, this purse served me very well! If you know you're going to a place where there's a lot of pickpockets or there's a lot of theft (this can be in the subway or in the downtown of a crowded city as well!) I suggest you take along a purse like this and keep it securely on your person. If you need to get a phone abroad, get a really simple phone that you can use strictly for making phone calls, and try to get one that's pay as you go! I kept my Galaxy Note II with me (not pictured) because something else that I think is extremely useful to have is a wifi device! Lots of places offer free wifi and all you have to do is whip out your phone or iPod (make sure your data is turned off your phone!) connect and you're good to go! Until you need to leave, but you know. I remember I would take time to check Instagram and my Facebook messages but it would only be for max 5 minutes. Of course I needed my lipstick and some lip balm as well as a compact mirror. I think the only touch up I do throughout the day is my lipstick and even that doesn't get done sometimes :/ I always kept some sort of id on me and some money that I could easily take out when I needed it. Then I had my camera that I actually used less and less throughout the trip because I preferred taking pictures with my Note II. It was less of a hassle to take pictures that way! And then my stupid sunglasses that didn't last me two days. Invest in good sunglasses.

I hope I was somewhat of a help to you if you're thinking about traveling abroad! Packing light is very important because it takes away so much stress that you wouldn't even know you have. And packing light really helps with the whole travelling experience! I remember one of the biggest reasons I loved my room so much over there was because it was so simple. I had my closet, my bed, and a nightstand. After a long day, I would just leave my clothes on the floor, put my purse on a shelf and crawl into bed. No worries, no distractions and no internet. It really is therapeutic to be away from it all for a while. Though I've been back for a while, I want to try to turn off the computer an hour before bed and just read, or listen to music or just play my 3DS until I fall asleep. I went from my simple purse with a few things in it back to my never ending pit of a bag back here. And actually sometimes I carry three bags around with me when I go to work! TAKE THAT, SIMPLE LIVING. You know, the simple life, when all I had was one never ending purse.