Iqaluit is hardly a desert island- its population of 6,000 people means I won’t be lonely, and it is possible to buy things (although selection is limited and prices are expensive). And 5 suitcases is hardly the one to five items that age-old speed dating/icebreaker question usually allows. However, there is something about knowing I won’t be back here for seven-ish months and that I won’t just be able to pop over to the mall if I need something are making packing extra challenging.
I’m able to bring up to 5 suitcases with me- which before I started packing I thought was ample space. I envisioned one entire suitcase full of books for me to read at leisure curled up with hot chocolate and a blanket inside my warm house while snow is softly falling outside my window. So much for that: the number of things that I have been advised to get there to save myself the expense there keeps growing. An afternoon phone call (that was very much appreciated) from someone I will be working with added some more essentials to the list: a humidifier, Vitamin D (because of the short daylight hours and lack of skin that is exposed to the sunlight that does exist) laundry detergent, toilet paper and peanut butter (very expensive commodities in Iqaluit).
Therefore, I’ve been trying to cram my luggage full of the most essential items that can’t be acquired there- or can only be acquired at ridiculous cost. I’ve bought a stock of toothbrushes and toothpaste, hand and body soap and body moisturizer and am planning to pick up cheese immediately before leaving.
I will be able to receive mail in Iqaluit (read: care packages are welcome) and since I have such great parents I do know that if I forget anything crucial, if I ask nicely enough they will send it to me (did I mention I love you both a lot?). And some companies will ship for free when purchases are over a certain threshold. Still, the fact remains that anything I forget or overlook won’t come easily.