I am writing a several part series on things I took with me to Russia, here are the links to the other lists:
So I was asked by several people to make lists of things I took with me to Russia and then discuss what I felt I didn’t need, what I should have brought and the reasoning with what all I packed in the first place. So I’ll be doing this in several posts, so they don’t get too ridiculously long. This will be one of the shorter lists in my series as I think this really varies a lot person to person, but here is my list of what I took.
- Laptop/Power Supply
- Cell Phone/Charger
- Power Adapter with USB Port
- SD Cards (For Camera)
- Rechargeable Batteries and Charger (For Camera)
- Extension Cord
Electronics I Didn’t Take, But Many People Do
- Power Converter
- Power Strip
- Adult Coloring Books and Colored Pencils
- Cross-Stitching Kit and Supplies
Activities I Didn’t Take, But Many People Do
- Knitting and Supplies
- Crocheting and Supplies
- Misc. Craft Activities
- Yoga Mat and Supplies
- Family Pictures/Notes for Wall Collage
- Medical Records/MRI Disks
- Travel Insurance Card
- Medical Insurance Card
- Wallet/Money/Debit Card/Credit Card
- Flight Itinerary
- Motel Reservations
First when it comes to important essentials, I think that is stuff that everyone should make sure they have with them before they come to Russia, in fact all that should probably be in your purse, wallet, pocket, carry-on luggage, etc. Some you obviously will have to have in order to actually leave your own country and enter into Russia, but it is important to ensure that your debit cards and credit cards are cleared to actually work in every country you are in on your entire trip, especially when it comes to debit cards. You need to make sure the bank knows how long you will be gone and every country you may use the card in, this in important so you aren’t stuck overseas with no money. Same with some credit cards, if you use them in a country like Russia without notifying the credit card company first they may assume fraud and stop you from using it until you contact them and get that whole situation figured out.
As for electronics I was happy with what I took. That really is personal preference on what you bring. Some people bring all sorts of gadgets, others bring hardly any at all. Many people who do some sight-seeing opt to just use their cell phones for pictures, I however am old-school and like to use an actual digital camera. And when it comes to cell-phones most people will not have cell service in Russia unless you pay an astronomical amount for it. Most people just have their phones set to airplane mode so that you can use wi-fi in various places around Moscow and in the hospital. There also are numerous apps you can use on your phone with the wi-fi to make free calls to people all over the world. As for communicating with family at home, most people use various programs for that. When I was in Russia most people were using Facebook to chat with family at home, you can do video chats that way. Google Hangouts and Skype are also really popular. There is free wi-fi at the hospital so it’s easy to keep in touch with people at home.
Also there is always debate on whether people from most of the world need just a power adapter or if they need a power converter as well. That really depends on your devices that you are bringing. Most laptops, tablets, and other devices can run on 220 so it isn’t a big deal to have a converter, as an adapter works just fine. You just need to check your devices ahead of time. I bought an adapter at Walmart that cost around $20.00, and it came with a built-in USB port, so that made charging my cell phone easy.
As for activities, that really is personal preference. Most people bring books in some way, shape, or form. Whether it is actual books or e-books. Also adult coloring books are really popular amongst patients. There are tons to choose from and you can get all sorts of colored pencil sets now. I opted to just bring 2 adult coloring books I got at Dollar Tree, as I didn’t want to bring my nice ones from home, and then for colored pencils I brought a pack of Crayola ones that are twistable, so you never have to sharpen them. Seemed more convienient than regular ones although you can’t get quite as detailed with them. I however am not patient enough for elaborate designs, so cheap coloring books and twistable colored pencils worked for me. I also like to cross-stitch so I brought along a cross-stitching kit to work on during isolation. Many people do like to bring along knitting, crocheting, or other craft projects as well. Some bring yoga supplies…. Before going to Russia I really thought I’d have a lot of time to work on various activities, but once I got there I realized that other than in isolation, I really didn’t spend a whole lot of time in my room. In the early days I did a lot of exploring of Moscow, and a lot of the time when I was at the hospital I would spend outside in the hospital grounds or inside chatting with other patients. Even when in isolation a lot of the time was spent chatting with people at home or with the fellow patients in the hospital via facebook. The time really goes by rather fast, so you don’t need to go overkill on activities.
So that’s about it for this post. Just gives you an idea of what I brought along. My advice is just bring what you know you will use and don’t go crazy. You probably won’t spend as much time alone in your room as you may think.