What I Packed to Move from NYC to Bali


As soon as Zach and I decided to move to Bali, the immediate question I started to ask myself was, "What in the world am I going to pack!?" I already get anxious about packing for a week long trip... much less moving across the world for a year! Not to mention, we had already decided on selling most of our belongings in NYC, getting rid of our apartment, and only taking 2 suitcases and a backpack each. We decided to travel light because we plan on using Bali as our home base, while still being very mobile and able to travel from place to place quite frequently. This also meant that our large suitcase needed to be 50lbs or less ((because paying the overweight price would get expensive time and time again)). Also, everything needed to be manageable to carry on our own... aka I couldn't rely on Zach to carry my luggage for me because he would have just as much to carry himself, ha!

A few factors to keep in mind: If I were just moving somewhere tropical with my husband and cutting back on a lot of my wardrobe, it wouldn't be *that* difficult to pack. However, I was trying to consider what items I would want to shoot and wanted to make sure I had enough variety in my wardrobe for blogging. Also, I was considering the idea that we may not be in Bali the full year and wanted to have options for other climates as well. This made things very tricky for me, haha, even writing it out is complicated, but somehow I eventually did it...!

Here is an overview of what I brought along for the adventure:

C L O T H I N G -


Okay obviously this was a big and necessary category... so I brought several. One pieces, two pieces, and 2 rash guards for surfing. However, after being here for a week I could have easily brought less and just bought a few when we got here... ha! 


Tank tops were an obvious necessity, which is why I probably have more tanks than anything else. I packed a few basic tanks as well as some dressier options, but made sure to have a variety of colors instead of bringing all black or all white, which is usually what I tend to stick to. 

Short Sleeves: 

I love throwing on a t-shirt to be comfy and often wear t-shirts to bed, too. I packed mostly basic tees, but threw in a few button ups as well. (Like my go-to white button up from Madewell.)

OTS + Crops: 

Another easy throw-on that also shoots well are OTS tops! Not to mention how lightweight they are... super versatile, perfect for tropical climate, and easy to wear dressed up or down.

Long Sleeves:

I knew I didn't need to bring many long sleeved items, but also had to keep in mind that we may be going to Europe and other places that aren't quite as warm as Bali! We would definitely need to do a little shopping before any cold weather trip, but for starters I made sure to bring along a few options just in case. Also, I am always cold at the airport and thought I may want to throw on a long sleeve on a cooler night at the beach.  

Again, considering we will be in Bali, jackets are not a necessity and take up tons of space. But I knew I would want at least a couple... so I brought along a hoodie (mostly for the flight!), my faux leather jacket, and my favorite denim jacket


Dresses were another big item for me because I knew I could get multiple uses out of them: to dress up and go to dinner, to throw on over a suit after the beach, or to shoot. It was actually so hard to narrow down which dresses to bring because I have so many that I love, but I tried to bring a few with different silhouettes + lengths. Short dresses, midi dresses, and even a couple maxis. I also tried to choose the lighter weight dresses to save space in my suitcase. 

Rompers + Jumpsuits: 

Rompers are another easy and versatile item to have, especially for tropical weather, so I wanted to make sure I had a couple on hand. I also brought 2 jumpsuits... mostly for shooting purposes, but I couldn't part ways with my Steven Alan jumpsuit and was so inspired just imagining how cool it would shoot with tons of greenery in Bali. :) 


I wanted to bring my denim skirt, a black skirt, and a wrap skirt... however as it got closer for us to fly out and my bag was STILL overweight, I had to take them out. :( I knew they would be easily replaceable even though it was hard to let go of them, ha! I did keep the wrap skirt because it was so lightweight and one of my favorite items to wear! ((I actually already wore it yesterday and am so glad I have it!)) 


Shorts are something I knew I obviously HAD to bring, and something I knew I'd wear day after day after day. I brought a 'large' assortment but tried to consider bringing different colors + styles to maintain a variety. 

Jeans + Pants: 

I am such a denim girl. The hardest thing to part ways with for me was definitely my denim!! I knew I wouldn't wear jeans everyday and had to really narrow down which ones to bring. They are also super heavy and take up too much space. I brought my most favorite pairs, and either sold, gave away, or stored the rest. On top of denim, I also brought along a pair of linen pants and dress pants. ((Cannot wait to wear the linen pants!))


Work out clothes, sleepwear, + underclothes... of course. :)

T O I L E T R I E S -

In my head, I was going to bring SO many more toiletries than I actually did. As I was receiving new products from brands for the last several months, I had been saving a lot of them to stock up and bring for the move. However, after packing all my clothes, shoes, swimsuits, and purses.... I didn't have as much room as I was hoping I would for toiletries. I also thought I could easily buy toiletries wherever we went. Plus, full size products are SO heavy. I realized I could either take out the 12oz body wash or a stack of clothes... so the body wash was a goner, haha! What I didn't know was that sunscreen is SUPER expensive in Bali! We had even bought a lot of sunscreen before the move and ended up throwing it all out... but after getting here we really regretted not having it! ((a 3oz of banana boat is about $16-20! Anyone have any pointers on where to get inexpensive sunscreen in Bali?!))

I definitely still managed to pack a lot of toiletries and a good bit of makeup, but really narrowed it down to bringing my absolutely favorites. A few of my must-haves that I brought are my Dermalogica products. My #1 fav is the daily superfoliant, and I also brought along the new precleanse balm, and special cleansing gel

A C C E S S O R I E S - 

S H O E S - 

I mean do I even need to explain how hard it was to narrow down this category?!!?!

B O O K S  + N O T E B O O K S - 

E L E C T R O N I C S - 

R A N D O M S -

Other random items.. but still oh so important: 

  • neck pillow

  • eye mask

  • ear plugs

  • lint roller

  • snacks ((laura bars, kind bars, dark chocolate))

  • propiotics, vitamins, medicine, + emergen-c

  • packing cubes ((these guys have been a lifesaver!! They have made staying organized so much easier by separating my clothing into categories.))

...and by some complete miracle and TONS  of help from friends, I was able to pack all of that into 2 iFly luggage suitcases ((these suitcases are amazing btw!!)) and my Hershel backpack! I know as I wear things, I will end up donating or getting rid of them and adding more to my wardrobe. Especially as I continue collaborating with brands, etc, but this is all that I have for now!! Packing was one of the hardest parts of the move, and took a lot of thought. So happy it is done and over with!

If you have any questions/comments, don't hesitate to ask!! I will be sharing more about our move as we go, and am so happy to answer any questions you guys have for me along the way. So thankful for all of your support + prayers as we enter into this new season of adventure! 

Xo- Tara