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Packing for the Botshabelo Volunteer Experience

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

Author: Alanah

Packing for the 2018 Botshabelo Volunteer Experience and a wedding!

If you're like me, packing for a trip is entirely stressful. I wish I was one of those people who could throw a few things in a bag and figure it out when I get where I'm going, but I'm not.

I'm the kind of person who makes lists to make lists, so naturally, my packing list ends up being three pages long and filled with a whole bunch of to-do's. Personally, and with all the bias I have, I think I am a great travel companion because I am ALWAYS prepared thanks to the list. I digress...

I like to start my lists weeks in advance; this helps me add to the list as items pop into my brain and it allows me to budget for the additional things I need to shop for. Best of all, it ensures that come packing day, I don't forget anything. I have one rule, respect the sanctity of the packing list -- nothing gets crossed off the list until it's in the bag!

And when everything is checked off, I celebrate by tossing that sucker into the recycling bin before I leave the house. Call it a ritual, call it being type A, call it what you will, I can't imagine packing without a list.

Matt on the other hand is the total and complete opposite kind of packer. Being totally calm, cool and collected all of the time, he doesn't seem to get stressed out about the prospect of packing. Matt is the throw a few things in a bag last minute and hope for the best kind of guy. He's a minimalist and I admire it.

In fact, did you know he packed for the 2018 Botshabelo Volunteer Experience the day before we left? I was nearly pulling out my hair as I watched the last minute loads of his laundry going in and out. I not so calmly kept thinking to myself, "how could you leave it to the last minute?!" I have no idea how he does it, but he sure is brave!

Needless to say, I know I can't be the only one who loves (needs) a good packing list....

Each year a group of incredible volunteers join us for the Botshabelo Volunteer Experience. While many of our volunteers have travel experience, packing for a remote stay in a rural South African village, where literally anything can happen, can be difficult. It's not like you can amazon something to your door if you forget it, and while you can find everything you need in town, getting to town can be a challenge.

So how do you pack for this experience?

Turns out it's not that bad and you actually need a lot less than you think you do. Our Botshabelo Volunteer packing list is basically our travel survival guide. In the spirit of collaboration, you might be headed out on an adventure so we thought, why not share this list with everyone for a little packing inspiration.

Check out our 2019 packing list below.

The lesson, packing doesn't need to be stressful, not when you have the perfect list.

Do you think something is missing? What would you add to this list? What is your travel must-have!? We'd love to hear from you!


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