Packing clothes for a different country is always difficult, especially if it’s somewhere completely foreign to you. For me, it was extremely difficult to pack since I hail from the sunny island of Singapore, located near the equator, where it is summer all year round. I had never stayed in an environment that experienced 4 different seasons for an extended period of time before coming to Philadelphia. Hence, I was very surprised to find that most people here do not consider the temperatures in Spring to be cold and even describe the weather as warm. In the month of April, the temperatures in Philadelphia range from 44 to 67 °F while the temperatures in Singapore range from 77 to 90 °F, which is quite a big difference. The lowest temperatures in Singapore are higher than the highest temperatures in Philadelphia, which has taken me quite a while to get used to.
I think another factor that has made it slightly difficult to adjust to is how quickly the weather fluctuates. In my experience, it has been more cold and windy in the mornings, and as the day goes by, it starts to warm up until the evening before the temperature drops again. I still am not really used to the big changes in temperature over the span of a single day since, in Singapore, the temperatures are fairly consistent, and I’ve never had to worry about wearing enough layers to keep warm, but I think I should be able to get the hang of it soon.
Another interesting thing I’ve realized is that I may be more sensitive to the cold than most people here. On certain days when I have felt cold, I have seen people walking around in shorts while I have on 3 layers of clothes just to prevent myself from shivering. I am always amazed at how most people here are able to brave the cold, and hopefully, my time here will allow me to build up my tolerance for cold and windy weather.
I have also found out that you can turn on notifications for extreme weather events, which I never got the option to back when I was in Singapore. At first, receiving warnings for thunderstorms was very intimidating because the harshest weather I had encountered back home was heavy rains, but nothing as serious as a thunderstorm. However, I have come to appreciate these notifications since they allow me to better prepare for extreme weather events and are really useful for days when I need to be outdoors for an extended period of time.