What to pack for your new life in Tallinn

You are moving to Tallinn for the next few months (or years!), but unfortunately airlines will not let you bring too many of your belongings with you, so you will have to be smart when packing as you will literally have to fit your whole future life in only one or two suitcases. So, what to bring? What to leave behind? This post will hopefully help you decide what to make space for in your suitcase other than the obvious things like jeans, shirts and socks.

Coats, jackets and sweaters

It’s no secret that Tallinn doesn’t have the most amazing weather in the world, so come prepared with as many jackets and coats as possible. During most of the year you will be wearing at least a light jacket.

JACKETS

During Winter you will need a bigger jacket. I get cold very easily and surprisingly for me, I did just fine with this simple one (not special for harsh Winters) that I got at Stradivarius in my hometown.

JACKET
During the few days when temperatures were at -20ºC, or when I knew I was going to spend a lot of time outdoors, I just added an additional sweater underneath, but this jacket was usually enough.

However, if you don’t have and want a real Winter jacket but come from a warm weather country like me, it’s better if you get it once you arrive in Tallinn, that way it will not take up space in your luggage and it will probably be much cheaper here. Besides, you will not need it as soon as you arrive so you have time to find one before Winter comes. Good brands are Columbia, North Face and Helly Hansen, but there are a few others you can check out in one of the many shopping malls that Tallinn has.

Thermal underwear

They will be your best friends during Winter, definitely bring a few!

THERMAL

Boots

Be prepared to wear boots for several months, so bring a couple of good ones. I did just fine with normal boots (not special for Winter), but they are made of leather and have good quality, which is also a must if you don’t want to get your feet wet during rainy days or with the snow. As with the jackets, if you feel like normal boots are not enough for you on Winter, buy them once you arrive in Tallinn.

DSC_1479

Warm accessories

Am I scaring you with these tips? Hope not, because Winter is not as bad as it sounds, I promise :). But do bring a few scarves, gloves and beanies. Again, if you don’t have enough, you can get them here. I got the burgundy beanie at H&M in Tallinn for 1 euro (yes! ONE euro! Best deal ever) and the beige one for 15 euros (it was a small splurge but I got it at the Christmas market in the Old Town and I love it).

SCARVES

Something from your country

This, of course, is not essential for your survival, but if you have some extra space left in your suitcase, bring traditional clothes from your country, people will love to see you wear them :). If you don’t have one, at least try to bring your flag. It’s strange to think that in my own country I would never have a flag in my room, but for some reason, once I go abroad, my sense of pride for my home country tends to increase :). And if you think you are going to miss your traditional food, also bring traditional spices of other special ingredients as they will probably be hard to find in Tallinn (be sure to check if your airline will allow it, though).

DSC_0650
The Mexican flag is the first thing I put on the wall when I arrived to my new room in Tallinn 🙂
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During the international dinner organized by ESN, students wore their traditional clothes (Photo by ESN TUT).

Things that remind you of your friends and family

There will for sure be days when you will miss your friends and family, so try to bring something that reminds you of them. I brought a threaded flower my boyfriend gave me and a photo of us, which I then put in a cheap frame I got at the supermarket when I arrived, and they made me so happy every time I looked at them :). This is definitely something you cannot buy once you arrive.

photo
The framed photo and the pink flower were my favorite items in my room.

Good luck and happy packing!

-Fabiola

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