Preparing to start your graduate studies? What would you say if not only that but moving away from your home country? Well… that’s me! I’m Inês – yes, with that awful ^ – coming from Portugal and hoping to stay for the next 3 years. It is not my first time moving while studying, but this is definitely more challenging. First of all I have to move much further away; having gone to Madrid due to ERASMUS was much easier. Portugal and Spain share almost the same language, life style and so on. Starting in Portsmouth it will be just another level of life change. In second, I’m coming for my PhD in Geology. So much more responsibilities and research challenges as well. For that I’m truly excited. Third… packing! Yes… packing in such conditions must be the hardest thing. Because, and most definitely the most important, what kind of clothing will I need?!
Let me present the climate of Portugal… most precisely Lisbon, the capital, and usually where I live. Average temperature is 21 ⁰C, reaching 42 ⁰C during summer months and 13 ⁰C in winter months. During a year it might rain something like 774mm, concentrated in about 3 to 4 months. So I could say Lisbon has mild to hot weather during most of the year. Dress code: thin jeans, skirts, dresses, blouses to thin sweaters. Most of the time there is no need for thick coats, though it is much more interesting to wear nice coats in winter time. Let me just compare with what we might find in Portsmouth. So average high temperature is about 14.5 ⁰C while the average low temperature goes for 8.2 ⁰C (is this true?! If so, not so bad). In a year it might rain around 700mm/year. So that’s really interesting, because usually we see the UK as a rainy-day country. I find this discover very refreshing (and dry!). I do not like rain very much. It keeps us out of the street. It keeps us off of the sky.
Several questions pop my mind. For instance, will I need to bring my bed clothing? Will I need to bring blankets? Will I have to use thick and really warm clothes? Will there be need to wear gloves all the time? Those questions come with… I do not have any more space on my luggage! Winter clothing takes lot of space and… there are some restrictions on my flight about number of bags. I can only bring 1 bag of about 23kg. Luckily for me, since I am a student I’m allowed to bring another bag (YES!) but only of 10kg. That’s life changing, really! Because while I was packing my first bag I saw my jeans, my sweaters and most of my underwear out of it… it was already full! So I was… “Good thing that I’m not going as a professional!”
There is no easy way while packing
Hopefully it closed
To go or not to go
The other interesting thing of packing your whole life for about 3 years (I know I’m being dramatic, because I can take more things later!) is that you find yourself looking at things and understanding their importance or relevance. There are so many things that we don’t really need! This takes me to other obvious ideas like how life turned out to be of consumption and the need for buying unnecessary things. There are otherwise things we really need. So I’m bringing my books. I cannot bring them all now, but I will bring my seventh book of The Wheel of Time saga. I’ve been reading this saga for the past 5 years now, and though I keep reading other things in the meanwhile, I am fond of this saga and of Robert Jordan’s literature.
If you asked me what is the most precious thing that I will bring with me… I could be divided! I think my coat will save from the harsh UK’s winter (and you know that “winter is coming!”)… but my laptop is of utter importance. Yes, I am that kind of person! But with my laptop I can connect with most of my memories and connect with my friends and family.
Are you moving or did you move from a far place outside the UK to study in Portsmouth? Could you share what was the most important thing you brought with you?
Lisbon is connected with Portsmouth by the sea 🙂