Pack Like A Pro To Avoid Needless Shopping

We caught up with Thembisile Sibeko and asked her some questions on what green travel means to her.

Image: Thembisile Sibeko

1. What brings you to Germany?

I went to Germany for an exchange program for my studies. 

2. What sustainable practices have you noticed during your stay?
One of the sustainable practices, I practiced during my stay is that I started to shop for clothes of higher quality so that they can be worn for a longer period of time. I was also shopping for timeless pieces that can be worn over the years, and still look fashionable. I stayed away from trendy clothing that I knew I could also find in South Africa. 

3.  What are your views on green travel? Is it realistic or not and why?
I am not very clued up on green travelling. I honestly buy and keep clothes based on my needs and style. I enjoy shopping and having beautiful clothing, but I never think of the effect it may have on the environment. 

4. Tips on how you stay green when you are travelling?
Plan in advance when packing for a trip, so you can identify your needs for your trip. If you have a budget for shopping overseas make sure you pack lightly for airline purposes. It is very expensive to pay for extra baggage or overweight luggage. 

5. What was your driving factor when you were packing for your trip considering you can’t pack or take everything?
Packing for a five-month trip was extremely difficult for me because this is the longest trip I have ever had to plan for, and also because I have a general issue with overpacking. I had to take into consideration the flight restrictions of my luggage, that was the first determining factor of how much I could take along with me. The weather was the second thing I considered when packing. I travelled during Spring until summer. Spring in Europe means it is still snowing and cold, so I packed for Winter and Summer. I considered the type of environment I was going to and the type of daily activities I would be doing. I was a student for the duration of my trip, so comfort with style was key for me. Lastly, I considered outfits for when I would travel to other countries and night outs, so I thought of more stylized outfits for those occasions. 

6. Have you shopped? What motivates your shopping?
I did a lot of shopping in Europe. I was motivated by the spring and summer sales that made shopping a lot more affordable. I was also motivated by having unique items that I knew would be special to keep and wear when I returned to South Africa, that not all people would have access to. Other shopping was motivated by needing specific items of clothing that I did not manage to pack.

7. Which part of your life has travelling influenced?
Travelling has influenced my general interest in different cultures, hobbies, food, music, art, style, and lifestyle. Travelling exposes you to yourself and the way you see the world. It has had a lot of positive changes in my life.