When the long awaited day arrived for me to move to the beautiful land of Japan, it felt so surreal! I couldn’t actually believe that I was still following through with it and I was going to go teach, pursue music and finally be with my partner again!
My dream had come true and I could hardly wait! The long days of writing my album in the vegan bee mobile, spending hours filling out visa applications and downgrading my entire life had come to an end and I was finally making the big, epic leap to move country!
Becoming a minimalist at the end of the summer had really come in handy when I decided to move to Japan at the start of this year. Packing my life up was definitely not the easiest thing I had ever done, but it was so much less stressful knowing that I didn’t own as much stuff to bring across to the other side of the world.
On the other hand, being a musician and performer meant that I had to really prioritise what I actually needed to bring abroad; from music equipment to stage costumes.
It was time to decide what were the most important physical possessions in my life, and what I should leave behind.
I am going to go through everything I took to my new life in Japan. In total, I took three suitcases and a carry on bag. One suitcase I had taken with me when I went to visit Japan for the first time in November and I left a few things out there for Koji to look after for when I arrived.
Carry on Luggage
Suitcase no. 1 – Things to leave in Japan
Notebook and pen
Japanese language book
Folder of important documents
Food for the journey
My summer wardrobe
Bed side wave lamp
Face cloth & towel
Airopress coffee maker
Music merchandise such as CD’s, pens, pencils and badges
Suitcase no. 2
My winter wardrobe
Other softer, material things such as my unicorn plushie
(All of the above got vacuum packed to save space.)
A few books
Suitcase no. 3
H1 zoom microphone
Paracetamol and multivitamins (Paracetamol is very expensive in Japan to took as much as I could with me to save my buying it).
Room decor such as:
A few of my favourite crystals
Two hanging sun catchers that were given to me as Christmas presents from my dad and grandparents
A few of my favourite cooking utensils
Leads and chargers
Packing tips that came in handy for me:
- Make a list
I will always shout about the endless pros of list making! I’m naturally sometimes a bit forgetful, which makes list making an essential part of my daily life. I make a lists for everything: lists before bed for the next day, every time I go shopping, to remember routines, setlist on stage e.t.c. the list goes on (pun intended).
Recommended Post: The First 3 Key Things To Do When Visiting Japan!
- Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothes to travel in
I realised very quickly into packing that every bit of packing space is very precious. Even as a minimalist, my suitcases were full and heavy quite quickly. By wearing the heaviest and bulkiest clothes saves weight and space in the suitcases. You can always take things off when you’re on the plane anyway.
- Packing cubes
For whatever kind of travelling, whether it’s moving abroad or going on holiday, packing cubes are an absolute must! For anyone like me, who loves being organised, packing cubes help to know exactly where you have put everything and they make unpacking so much easier.
I still keep all of my music gear in a packing cube because it keeps it neat. I use my other packing cubes as sock and underwear compartments within my wardrobe. It keeps everything organised in my wardrobe and will make it easier for me when I move again.
Here is a link to the ones I bought off of eBay. They were dirt cheap and worth every penny.
- Pack shoes in the corners and socks around the edges of the suitcases.
Doing this adds more padding to the edges of the suitcase. I’ve heard some horror stories about suitcases coming back broken from being thrown about during transit so I took extra measures to make a layer of padding with my shoes and socks, to ensure my things, especially my music gear, didn’t get knocked about as much while travelling.
- Thread your necklaces through a toilet roll tube
This is a really simple tip to keep all of your jewellery untangled when travelling. It also made packing them a lot easier. I wrapped them around the roll and packed them down the side of one of my packing cubes.
- Vacuum pack bags
Vacuum pack bags saved my life during my trip! I love to embrace hygge as much as possible into my life, which means I own my fair share of soft and fluffy items of clothing.
On top of that, there was no way I could’ve left my unicorn plushie in England! Even though it didn’t look like much, it was all quite bulky, which meant they definitely took up too much of my necessary packing space.
Knowing this, I invested an entire £5 into two massive vacuum pack bags, and if you find yourself moving to another country, I seriously recommend you buy some too.
Everything shrunk to over half of their original size, and I ended up having two massive vacuum packed bags worth of stuff, fit into one suitcase… Success!
I hope that you found this blog post useful! If you did, please feel free to share the love on social media and join the Hello Vegan Bee mailing list for updates on other super helpful and informative posts in the future!