So, I’m back from my year abroad in England now and I’ll use my insights to tell you about what I packed, what was useful, and what I really could’ve left at home. just fyi: I stayed in dorms (single ensuite) and meals were provided. your needs might be different so i won’t claim that this is the ultimate solution to all packing problems, but it might help!
STUFF TO PACK
jeans/trousers, shirts, sweatshirts
all the underwear and socks you can find (or you’ll spend your days doing laundry)
a scarf, fluffy socks
pyjamas (or shirts/shorts for sleeping)
small umbrella (the foldable ones are great)
laptop, phone, chargers, camera etc. (i invested in a DSLR and didn’t regret it - if you enjoy photography it might be worth it!)
winter boots and jackets, waterproof clothing
bedding (if you need it), duvet covers, pillow cases
sunglasses, normal glasses if you need them
any medicine you won’t be able to get abroad, removable braces etc
STUFF NOT TO PACK
office supplies like paper, notepads, folders, tons of stationery
books (you won’t read them, take one or two if you really want to)
books for university (there are libraries and many are online)
tons of makeup, sunscreen
clothes that you can only wear in one specific combination
decorations, frames, photo albums, merch (takes up a lot of space that can be put to better use)
a lot of money in a currency you don’t need there
hangers, hooks, any other small/cheap bits that you can just as well buy there
big bottles of shampoo and shower gel
take as little paper as you can. scan any important documents like confirmation of insurance, your passport/ID, confirmation of study etc so you have a virtual copy.
take precautions for if your baggage gets lost (mine did twice). have all important documents and enough cash on your person at all times.
you will accumulate so much stuff during your year! i still don’t know where it all came from. take as little as possible with you so you have more space for new stuff when you get back.
send parcels, it’s often cheaper than paying excess baggage fees and you don’t have to deal with carrying a lot of stuff. it’s especially great for winter coats and boots, or bedding.
if you haven’t already, find out how to establish a VPN connection with your home university so you can use their online resources abroad as well.
trust me when i say that you shouldn’t take books. i love books, i took over fifty with me, i didn’t read any of them.
The Halfling’s Tavern has a mug of mead for you, and I think you’re going to like it. “Served” in little glass mugs with handles, this 3 ounce candle looks just like a foamy mug of ale, mead, or beer. It stands just over 3 inches tall, so it is quite a wee thing.
These are made to order and you can check it out here
Please note that you cannot use this mug for food/drink after the candle has been used up, for your own safety.
If you’d like to read more about what inspired these cute little boozy candles, I have written up some more DnD Apothecary lore! Under the cut, so sorry for mobile folks who want to skip it, as it’s a bit long!
On a dusty road in a run down town in the middle of nowhere, stands the old tavern. If it once had a name, it's lost to history. An older, gruff human man runs the place, and as it's the only tavern in town and the only town around for several days journey in any direction, it's fairly popular with travelers and merchants, if by necessity rather than choice.
One morning, a young halfling girl knocks on the door of the tavern and asks the man if he needs any help around the tavern. "Get lost, I don't give handouts to beggars!" he says, before slamming the door in her face. She knocks again and says she is not a beggar, she's looking for work.
"I don't have any!" he huffs and slams the door again. She stands there a moment, thinking over her options, when the door opens again and he throws a burnt loaf of bread at her. "Eat it or feed it to the pigs, I don't care, get lost!"
She throws the bread back in his face and says once again, she's not a beggar. She's looking for work.
This continues on for a few days and eventually the man gives her some day old bread. She starts to say again, that she is not a beggar, but he slams the door in her face yet again.
That night, the girl swept the walkway up to the tavern, and gathered a bunch of wildflowers, arranging them in empty bottles and jugs she collected, decorating the entrance to the tavern. When she knocked again this time, she said "I don't accept handouts. I'm not a beggar. I just want to work for my food."
He takes a look around and although his facial expression doesn't change he tells her if she will do it again tonight, he will have bread for her in the morning. Elated, the girl does exactly that.
This continues on for some time, eventually the man tells her she can sleep in the storage room because "it's getting cold out and you'll probably pass along the flu to everyone." He never speaks to her unless its to tell her what she's done wrong, but slowly she's doing more around the tavern, cleaning, washing dishes, making meals, serving patrons. He never calls her by her name, only "Girl."
He sends her to get schooling in the town, stating that he is tired of her incessant questions, always why this or why that, and he just needs a few hours of peace a day. She goes to school and comes back to the tavern, cleaning and doing her duties, and telling him all about her day and all the things she's learned. He only grunts at her if he acknowledges her at all. One morning, he throws a new(ish) and nice(ish) set of clothing at her, telling her she looks filthy and ragged in those clothes and it's an embarrassment to his inn. He also hands her a beautiful comb and mirror, telling her to "brush your hair, people will think you have bugs in it."
Humans age quicker than gnomes, it's true. The brush and mirror set were the only real gifts he ever gave her, and despite many years of living there, first in the storage, and then in a side room, and finally in the smallest guest room in the tavern, he spoke little to her, except to say where she had made a mistake, or that she was asking too many questions and he had a headache. She learned to run the entire tavern.
And when the old man finally fell ill, many years later, she looked after him, too. She took over the tavern's daily operations and took care of this cranky old man. Juggling it all was harder than anything else she had to do, and one day while making a batch of mead, she put in juniper berries instead of clove. She fretted about it but she couldn't afford to throw the batch out and start again. When it was aged, she served it to the patrons, nervous that her fragile livelihood might all come crashing down. To her surprise, they loved it! And wanted more of it! Business started booming.
And the old man died.
When the priest came to do the burial rites and offer his services to the grieving young woman, he handed her a sealed letter. "I assume it's addressed to you."
"To my Angel,
I never showed it but you saved me. My grief and sadness over losing my wife and daughter many years ago consumed me and life held no spark, no joy. I wanted nothing more to do with it all. And then you showed up on my doorstep all those years ago. You were the spark. A spitfire, determined and intelligent, letting nothing and no one stand in your way.
I could never be what you wanted, but I could give you what you needed. You have the knowledge, experience, and passion to run this place and it has been yours in all but name for many years now. I leave it all to you now.
You've done so well and I am so proud of you."
It's been decades now since the tavern came into her ownership and while she never bothered to come up with an official name, it's known far and wide as The Halfling's Tavern, where the pies are fantastic and the mead is plentiful.
I like to think Harley Quinn gifts Jonathan nice things every so often. She knows he lives a very messy and unorganized life, but she can’t help it. All she wants to do is brighten up his demeanor, which is no easy task.
She’s gifted him everything from scented candles and fancy shower gels to gourmet dinners at Gotham’s most expensive restaurants. Jonathan has tried to decline her gifts on several occasions, but he’s ultimately given up and accepted his fate. Even the crotchety Professor Crane can’t resist Harley Quinn’s sweet charm.
(He really prefers books over shower gel and scented candles, but he never complains. It’s nice to feel appreciated after all.)
Self care kit for a bioluminescent sea monster/sea dragon friend with glowing items and something reminiscent of the ocean!
Sea dragon crocheted plushie ($40 US, other colors available in other listings for $40-$45)🌊
Refillable glowing gel/traditional wax candle holder scented with fresh water, water lilies, soft musk, bergamot, and lavender. You burn a traditional wax votive candle or tealight instead of the gel, allowing it to last longer($30, Listing says it glows under household lights, sunlight, and UV light but I believe it's shown under UV light) 🌊
Seaside Enchanted Tealights topped with shells and glitter. Ocean breeze scent ($7, set of three. To refill your holder when the votive candle is gone!)🌊
Glow in the dark amethyst dragon pendant ($35-$38, choice of six glow colors and I believe this is turquoise glow. Also, heads up that amethyst can fade in direct sunlight but you probably shouldn't have too much of an issue unless you're leaving it there for ten minutes or longer.)🌊
Resin seashell glow in the dark green trinket tray with holo embeds ($15)🌊
When you get this, please respond with five things that make you happy! :D Then, send this to the last ten people in your notifications (anonymously). You never know who might benefit from spreading positivity :)