8 Things You Should Take Abroad That Nobody Told You About

8 Things You Should Take Abroad That Nobody Told You About

You won't find these ideas on other packing lists.

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Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime, but I know firsthand how hard it can be to decide what to pack! That's why I want to share 8 things I took abroad that you won't find on other packing lists!

1. A framed photograph

Brianna Elizabeth

Frame a photo of your favorite people and put it in your suitcase. When you arrive in your host country, place the photo somewhere in your room. It will be a sweet but subtle reminder of home and will make your space abroad feel more personalized!

2. Your favorite dressing

Food So Good Mall

If you eat ranch with every meal then you should probably pack a bottle in your checked bag. There's not much chance of finding ranch or Chick-fil-A sauce outside of the U.S. Consider this your warning!

3. A microfiber towel

Walmart

You never know when a hostel is going to charge you extra to rent a towel. Why not take a microfiber towel instead? They're lightweight, fast drying, and compact, making them perfect for weekend trips abroad.

4. Reusable grocery bags

Brianna Elizabeth

Lots of stores overseas don't provide free single-use bags at checkout. You may be able to purchase them for an additional fee, but it's better to be on the safe and environmentally friendly side. Pack a few reusable grocery bags and take them with you when you go shopping!

5. Multiple outlet adapters

Amazon

Sometimes you need to charge your phone and blow dry your hair at the same time, you know? It's just not realistic to take only one world adapter abroad. Buy one and borrow one or two more from friends who have traveled abroad before!

6. Some bottle protectors

Brianna Elizabeth

You're going to want to bring a bottle of wine or an aged vinaigrette back to the States. Take a few bottle protectors to protect your glass bottles from breaking during travel.

7. A travel backpack or purse

Brianna Elizabeth

Travel backpacks and purses are designed to dissuade pickpockets from snatching travelers' personal items. With so many styles and sizes to choose from, you're bound to find at least one travel bag that fits perfectly!

8. An international phone plan with data

Jan Vašek on Pixabay

Save yourself the headache of trying to set up a phone plan overseas by purchasing an international plan from your stateside service provider. Trust me, you will need data to translate menus, book train tickets, and GPS your way back to your apartment.

No matter what ups and downs you face as you embark on this journey, know that studying abroad will be 1000% worth the effort in the end! Happy travels!

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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