Travelling light is not easy when you are a Miss World contestant as Gilford girl Emma Carswell can testify.
The 21-year-old is busy preparing for the competition in Washington DC, and eight dresses (five of them long), are just some of the outfits she will be taking on the transatlantic journey.
Add in lessons on make-up and hair styling, and personal training sessions, and it all adds up to a hectic time for the psychology student.
Emma leaves for the competition next Friday and will take part in a range of categories before the final pageant on December 18.
These include ‘Miss Sport’ when the contestants from more than 110 countries could be asked to compete in anything from basketball to baseball. Last year, in China, athletics was the chosen sport.
Multimedia is another area where contestants can score extra points, with the contestants encouraged to interact with people on Facebook and Twitter.
Said Emma, “Social interaction is more popular in some of the other countries, but not so much here, so it would be great if people could log onto the Miss World NI Facebook page or download the Miss World app.
“The interview is the biggest category. I will be nervous but I am just going to try my best and be myself.”
The contestants will be whittled down to a final 20 according to points and Emma is hoping to “make Northern Ireland proud”.
The former pupil of Tandragee JHS and Portadown College has been using the time since her win in May to work with charities such as the NI Children’s Hospice and Action Mental Health to raise their profiles. And she says this has been one of the most satisfying aspects of her “amazing” Miss NI experience.
Emma has also been closely involved with the Yellow Ribbon suicide prevention group, where she spent her university placement year.
She will be cheered on in Washington DC by her mum and dad Lynda and Trevor, sister Amy and boyfriend Jonny.