What Do I Carry While Preparing to Travel Abroad for the First Time

We asked: ‘What should I bring when I’m coming to Russia as a new student?’

In this article, Ezekiel Kilani, the City rep of Voronezh and Clerk of the HoR of the Association of Nigerian Scholarship Students in Russia will share what you need to carry when leaving to Russia as a new student.

What are the factors that determine what to take? Do I need to carry a bag of rice? What about pots, pans and bedsheets? Find out for yourself!

“When preparing to travel abroad from Nigeria, one often asks the question, “What do I need to travel with?” This is an important question everyone should ask themselves.

In answering this question, certain factors have to be duly considered. Such factors include but are not limited to:

  • How far away are you travelling? The things that someone who is travelling very far away from Nigeria is quite different from someone who is travelling within West Africa due to the fact that some of Nigerian products can be easily gotten from neighbouring African countries.
  • Weather condition: The weather condition of the place you are travelling to should be carefully studied. Is the place always cold, windy, snowy or sunny and hot? You need to consider this, it would help you know what you need to take along with you and how to prepare well. For instance, you cannot be travelling to Russia or Canada during winter and not get some warm clothing
  • Eating habits: Your adaptability to trying out new food should also be considered. You are leaving Nigeria to a place where you are likely not to have access to Nigerian dishes and foodstuff. This would greatly affect your feeding habits. Some people find it easier to try new food and adapt to a new lifestyle and eating habit, while others do not. If you fall in the category of people who find it hard to try new food, then you need to take into consideration taking a lot of local ingredients along with you. Personally, I don’t like trying new food. I find it hard to eat anything I’m not used to even down to certain Nigerian local dishes.
  • Lifestyle: Your lifestyle is another factor that should be put in consideration while making your preparation. Some people are more cultural than others, and they find it hard to adapt to new environments easily. If you fall in this category, then you should make plans for survival. 

After carefully considering these factors, the next thing is to start buying all you need to travel abroad. 

In this section, I would consider the things you need to buy as a male and as a female.

As a male, you don’t really have much problem since we have quite a simple lifestyle. Below are the things you most definitely need to buy before you travel abroad:

  • Clothes: Sadly, mens clothing is always expensive everywhere but I can assure you that they are quite cheaper in Nigeria compared to outside because the money you would use to buy one cloth here, you can use it to buy two in Nigeria. Hence buy a lot of nice clothes in Nigeria especially pants (jeans, joggers, chinos, etc).
  • Hair products: You need these products for proper grooming. You need to buy a hair comb, hair brush, hair creams and hair soaps. White guys don’t have our kind of hair, hence, they don’t sell our kind of hair comb, hair products or clipper.
  • Footwears: A few nice shoes wouldn’t be bad. Don’t buy a lot, however,  just a few. You can always get more shoes when you arrive.
  • Foodstuff: Buy a whole lot of this especially local foodstuff like egusi, ogbono, crayfish, local spices, GARRI (yes, extra emphasis on it, except you don’t like garri), sardine, titus, noodles, milk, golden morn, chocolate milk, beans, okpa flour, blueband butter, stock fish, dried fish, dried/ponded pepper, cornflakes, and any other foodstuff you like. A lot of guys would say they don’t need this cause they don’t know how to cook, please still bring them. Highest, you’d pay someone to cook them for you or you could even learn to cook before travelling.

As a girl, you have a lot to carry though. Girls have a more complicated lifestyle than boys, hence you need to carry a lot. As a girl you need to carry the following important things:

  • Hair products: I am starting with this because a woman’s hair is her pride. To look beautiful as a girl, your hair is also very important! You should buy a lot of attachments, wigs (as you can afford), relaxers (for those that use them), shea butter, crotchets, beads, leave-in conditioner, eco gel, combs, etc. Buy literally everything you use for your hair normally in excess if you can afford them and have enough space.
  • Clothes: Please buy clothes. We sometimes in the past advised students coming to Russia not to buy a lot of clothes, well, we regretted that cause they all turned back at us saying we advised them not to buy clothes and they are finding it hard to get clothes here in Russia. So please buy enough clothes. Warm clothes, traditional clothes, dates and dinner weavers, casual clothes, underwears, etc. If you are travelling to a cold country, please buy a few warm clothes, jackets and sweaters. 
  • Foodstuff: We all understand that women like to cook and they love making their own meals so please buy a lot of food stuff like egusi, ogbono, crayfish, local spices, GARRI (yes, emphasis on it, except you don’t like garri), sardine, titus, noodles, milk, golden morn, chocolate milk, beans, okpa flour, blueband butter, stock fish, dried fish, dried/ponded pepper, cornflakes, and any other foodstuff you like.
  • Footwears: Get some sneakers and heels. 

To answer the common questions about red oil…

Red oil is very important for a good Nigerian dish. First, you can do without it and improvise with colouring seasonings, vegetable oil or tomato paste. There are different ways to go about it but if you must bring red oil, you need to wrap it very well so it is not detected by Customs. 

Some countries impose fine on detection, while some other countries don’t- they only remove it. Preferably, put your red oil in your main luggage. Check this video on my channel where I talked about how to correctly wrap your red oil.

It is important to note that there are some irrelevant things you do not need to carry along with you when travelling abroad. Such things include:

  • Rice: There is rice everywhere
  • Spaghetti
  • Macaroni
  • Salt
  • Yam
  • Potatoes
  • Semo
  • Blanket
  • Cooking utensils
  • Beddings
  • Iron
  • Hair stretcher
  • Hair dryer
  • Electronics (except phones, laptops, adapters)
  • Excess sanitary pads
  • Excess toiletries
  • Plates, pots, spoons
  • Etc.

You should be aware that no matter the quantity of these things you carry, they will still finish and you’d be left with local dishes of the country you go to except you want to starve.

So, while adapting and settling down, try opening up to local dishes of the country you are going to or learn improvisation and surviving mechanisms.”

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