Yeap, you read that right. I, a lover of dresses and shoes, moved to another country with just one suitcase under 50 pounds. It wasn’t easy. I may have repacked my bag like 15 times, but in the end, I successfully flew from Germany to Costa Rica with one suitcase.

The key to my success was eliminating as much stuff as possible (obviously.) I may have a bit of an emotional attachment to a lot of my clothes (yes I do think about my favorite sweater from time to time and look forward to the day I can hold it again).

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Fortunately, we were able to store bags of our stuff at my boyfriend’s parents house. I also have things at my mom’s house and my dad’s house. Basically, I never know where anything is because it could be in 1 of 3 continents and I’m pretty sure they all look forward to the day that all my stuff is gone from their houses. Sorry guys!

I know you are probably thinking, “Well I need more than out suitcase worth of stuff to survive.” Yes, you are right, which is why we rent a furnished apartment.

See, when I moved to Germany (with two suitcases) my boyfriend and I bought a lot of really nice furniture. I wanted to buy as little as possible, but at that time I wasn’t really settled yet in Germany and he thought that having a nice and comfortable apartment would make me feel happier. He was right of course, and it was really nice of him to make the effort to do that, but it also meant that when we decided to leave Germany we were held back by stuff.

We ended up selling all that nice furniture online and lost a lot of money in the process. It sucked and was painful to do, but that’s life.

If you’re considering a move abroad and feel held back by stuff, see if any family or friends have a place you can store things for free. You can always rent a storage unit, but those aren’t exactly cheap. If you plan on moving back within a few years it could be a good investment. If you plan on staying abroad for a long time I would suggest selling everything.

When we arrived in Costa Rica we found a furnished apartment. I thought it would be a bit difficult to find a furnished place, but we actually had no problem. I highly recommend doing the same. It will save you a lot of money if you don’t plan on staying in one place for a long time.


We still had to buy some things, such as bedding, but it was much cheaper than having to buy all new furniture ourselves. Obviously, the rent is typically a bit higher in a furnished place, but I think it’s worth it.

My advice, don’t collect so many things in the next place you go. If you want to live a life of moving to different destinations abroad, stuff will only hold you back. 

I love buying new clothes, but I’ve learned to control myself. When you live abroad you’ll learn to buy only the bare minimum. The other great thing about this is I save money. When I see a cute pair of shoes I want, I first consider how much space they will take up in my suitcase, how heavy they are, and if they are something I can wear with many different outfits.

It can be stressful to eliminate your belongings but I promise you it is also a very freeing feeling. The fact that I can pack everything I need in one suitcase and move anywhere in the world is amazing!


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