It’s Getting Real!

luggage suitcaseNow that my working visa for the U.K. is processed, the planning is more tangible! Before it was theory, with a little voice in the back of my head that said, “Perhaps the Fulbright Committee made a mistake. Maybe they’ll email and say you aren’t going to Nottingham.”

As a notorious over-packer trying to cover weather in the U.K. from August to January, account for dressing for work at the University of Nottingham, as well as semi-casual weekend exploring clothes, I’m kind of flummoxed. And by “kind of” I mean: OH, NO! WHAT WILL I BRING?!? All. Of. The Stuff!

In the past, when I tried packing in a “more reasonable way” for a weekend in Montreal, I forgot my shirts! This week, at a course on extreme weather in Ocracoke Island, I forgot my toothpaste and toothbrush! (No worries, people, I was loaned given one by the front desk.)

So, taking into consideration the various outfits I need for work, play, and travel –  as well as weather ranging from 80º F to 30, rain to sun. And more rain, apparently. Oh, and snow in the winter…WHAT SHALL I DO?

Pictured above are my two suitcases. I also will have a carry-on pilot’s case. In addition, I have funding to board one or two more bags. I must keep reminding myself that once I get to London, though, I must manage to get all of this to Nottingham. Does anyone in the U.K. have a moving van who might meet me at the airport? (kidding)

To add to the mix, I still don’t know where I’m living, but I’m hoping for a fully furnished flat. I’ll buy towels and linens once I arrive, I’m thinking. So please, help me…WHAT SHOULD I PACK TO BRING TO ENGLAND?

5 thoughts on “It’s Getting Real!

  1. Towels and linens can be bought cheaply in the UK. So can most flat content stuff, and Beeston near the uni has plenty of affordable outlets. IKEA isn’t far away either. Nottingham and Leicester are textile areas, and the market in the city centre used to have plenty of clothing – but I haven’t been shopping centrally there for YEARS. Extremes of temperature are rare, so maybe don’t worry too much about those. Perhaps buy bulkier clothing here. Bring a waterproof jacket and a couple of work outfits and a couple of casual outfits – as crossover as possible. Some comfy shoes. Does that give you a start? Sara


    • Thank you so much, Sara! It does help. I had basically packed every fall/winter dress I own. LOL
      I’m going to start over again. Someone had told me to bring old sheets and towels and just toss them when I get ready to leave. The problem is, we downsized from a huge house to an apartment and I don’t have old stuff. I’ll buy new there and then donate them when I leave. I appreciate you giving me such great advice!


  2. I’m just wrapping up a month in Dublin/London/Glasgow for summer vacation, and I was really worried that I didn’t pack enough clothing for fluctuations in weather. Silly me. There hasn’t been a single day when it hasn’t been raining or overcast or just really really cold. So I’d recommend bringing lots of clothing that can be layered (and a raincoat and rain boots and an umbrella — SO. MUCH. RAIN.). Honestly, I’ve lived this entire month out of an Osprey Porter 46 backpack and haven’t wanted for anything except maybe one more pair of shoes and, as previously mentioned, my winter raincoat.

    – Victoria (Fulbright DAT to Glasgow)


    • I looked at the weather history for Nottingham and noticed the rain – so much different than what I am accustomed. I have a travel umbrella I’m bringing and will buy a coat and boots over there (since I don’t have suitable ones already!) Thanks so much for the tips. What has been your favorite spot of interest, activity, or restaurant for each of those three lovely cities! How amazing to do all three and have a month to do so!


  3. Buying your coat and boots in the UK makes complete sense since you’re coming here in September. (I’m not coming over until January. And as I said to my mother yesterday: “There’s no way that I’m leaving NYC without the warmest winter coat in existence. Otherwise, when I step off the plane in Scotland, I might actually freeze to death.”)

    I’m a theatre teacher, so I’ve spent most of my time either watching performances or observing rehearsals. If you find yourself wandering over to Dublin in September, I strongly recommend the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival ( My favorite theatre company in the world, Collapsing Horse, will be presenting their adaptation of The Aeneid at Smock Alley this year, and it’s going to be extraordinary. I also highly recommend the Georges St. Arcade, which has the most delightful shops, and lounging around the lawns at Trinity College is a splendid way to pass an afternoon. Glasgow has another one of my favorite theatres, the National Theatre of Scotland, which does some of the most unbelievable work. I’ve never missed any of their touring productions that have come to NYC. (They also have one of my favorite coffee shops, Offshore Coffee, which I’m sitting in right now. Excellent free wi-fi, delicious flavored milks, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the River Clyde. If they only had Fine Cookie Co. biscuits, they’d be absolutely perfect. Still trying to figure out how I can get a jar of Rainbow Nation biscuits shipped to the US!)

    See you in less than a month at orientation!


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