What are you waiting for, register to join now (it's free): CLICK HERE

Author Topic: Packing question - sentimental items  (Read 2119 times)


  • Guest
Packing question - sentimental items
« on: July 17, 2014, 07:19:02 PM »
I have been thinking about packing and have been considering the obvious things like clothing. What about personal items.  Should I make space for personal items, sentimental things? I am thinking that it might be a waste of space, on the other hand it could make my stay in another country more pleasant.

What did you RPCV's and PCV's take, if anything, that was not necessary, but was sentimental. Do you recommend it, or am I just being a girl?

Offline koji

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 113
    • Transitions in the East
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Packing question - sentimental items
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2014, 02:26:30 AM »
I would go with sentimental items over clothing. Almost any basic need you will be able to purchase in-country, and it will help you to integrate with the locals. shop for the clothing they wear. Use the same hairdryer, etc. So as far as basics go, pack to get by for the training period- which is usually a lot less clothing then you think (or that I thought, rather)... then use the space for sentimental stuff... not only will it make the separation easier, but you will also have keepsakes from home to show the locals about your life and what is important to you.

I brought some cheap but sentimental jewelry, a nice coffee table book about the arizona trail (which I lived and worked on for two years), my chopsticks, and a tapestry I had hanging in my room for the past several years. Those things have stayed with me through peace corps, a year of studying abroad after peace corps, and now living in my host country permanently.


  • Guest
Re: Packing question - sentimental items
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 05:09:54 PM »
Hmmm, I'd have to say just the opposite. Take all the practical things...the rest you can have sent from home to your site. You'll be so busy in PST you won't have time to think about anything else!

Offline Steve S

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 38
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: Packing question - sentimental items
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 07:22:31 PM »
It depends. My guess is that you should look carefully at PC's country specific suggestions. Most places have good local shopping. Some items may be much costlier and shipping from home or Amazon (etc.) is not always simple or cheap. I took some gifts for my hosts and others, some difficult to buy high tech. items, and light weight suggestions from the packing list provided that were useful and expressed some of my sentiments (that were appropriate at the host site). What was most helpful to me at that time was a music "library" of my favorite tunes, pictures and "conversation pieces" to overcome my poor verbal skills with the non-English speaking locals, and things difficult to purchase during the first 3 months or so. I am and was a "shop until you drop"" sort of person, including in Country NGO garage sales, local markets, etc. so this route to cultural sensitivity was fun.


  • Guest
Re: Packing question - sentimental items
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 09:19:09 PM »
I'd say go for a mix.

Don't worry about packing everything you could possibly need for two years. Most of the time they will have everything you NEED available in country. 

Clothes-wise, if I did it again, I'd bring a week's worth of business-casual clothes for training, and 2-3 sets of comfy house clothes (a mix of long shorts, sweats, yoga pants, favorite sweatshirt).

Sentimental items-wise, I'd definitely bring a few things like posters, photos of family and friends, a favorite book. It's nice to have some things from home. Just don't bring things that you'd be heartbroken to loose or have destroyed, because there is a good chance at least one of them will.