The countdown is on and I am still very much stressing about what to take. I am sure my western packing 'issues' will feel very trivial when I am living in the home of my host family without running water and electricity. But still. Should I take a crap phone AND my i-phone to save the effort of swapping over the sim cards all the time?!?

Oh dear lord my life has been so easy.

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Another 'issue' is bathroom products. I am refusing to take 3 months worth of my favourite shampoo, because it doesn't seem fitting with the 'traveller' lifestyle. But I've got one bottle. Just to ease me in to the soap and water routine. This leads me on to my list of other 'loved but leaving behind' beauty products:

1. Hairspray- it's humid, so I imagine I will be sweating quite a bit. Leaving this behind avoids the whole 'hairspray getting in eyes' issue.

2. Make-up- I'm not even sure if there will be a mirror. Therefore I will be asusming that I always look lush.

3. Hair moose and other crap I use to get volume- I repeat. It's humid. Hair will ALWAYS lie flat.

4. Chocolate body butter- realised this would turn me in to a walking dessert for insects. (But has been replaced by Avon's Skin so Simple body oil- APPARENTLY this is an excellent mosquito repellant. And the Marine's use it. That means it must work. Right?)

5. Perfume- no comment needed.

In general I've tried to steer clear of the hi-tech, over-priced 'westerner-takes-on-the-real-world' equipment. Like those trousers that stop insects biting you whilst being waterproof, sunproof, windproof (and incredibly unstylish) ?

HOWEVER I was advised to waterproof my bag- you know with one of those bag-sized shower-caps? But I splashed out and bought myself a fancy waterproof backpack. As it WILL rain. If it doesn't?...well I am left with a £40 hole in my purse and incredibly lame bakpack to explain.

I am hopeful that I will be the one laughing.

NB. If you are reading this and hoping to become more like me (not advised) you can purchase the same backpack here:

#2014blog #packing #trainingvolunteerrisk #philippines

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