So yes, I have been extremely MIA and for that I apologize. Allow me to explain my absence: my beautiful genius friends graduated college, I made the crazy huge decision to leave my job in San Luis Obispo and return home to Northern California to buy a house and move in with my fiance, I’m going on a 12-day backpacking adventure to Europe with two of my best friends, and I am also moving out of my current house. All in the course of about 6 weeks. I think you can understand why I haven’t had time to write a post. And because I’m being honest, there have been a lot of “cereal for dinner” nights which are not exactly blog-worthy. One time I added blueberries to my corn flakes, does that count for anything? No? Alright then.
Moving on, throughout all this chaos (good chaos!) I have been making lists to keep me sane. Well, I always use lists but my list-making has been taken to a whole new level lately. The most fun list has been the “packing for Europe” list. It beats job-hunting lists and house-cleaning lists by a landslide.
Because we are backpacking and staying in hostels, I invested in one of these bad boys:
High Sierra Classic Series – Summit 45 – Internal Frame: I got this for about $85 on Amazon.
45 liters of backpacking goodness! This backpack fits everything I need, but I have to check it at the airport so I am also using my Vera Bradley bag to carry a change of clothes, my Kindle, and other necessities for 21 hours of travel. If you take out the cardboard bottom, it folds down pretty small so as soon as I am reunited with my backpack, I will consolidate and just use the backpack.
Just how much stuff can I fit into this backpack, you ask? The short answer is: a lot. The long answer is below:
1. cross-body bag
2. toiletry bag
3. luna bars
4. underwear (14) socks (6 pair) swimsuit
5. makeup bag
6. 1 pair shorts
7. 1 shorter skirt for night time
8. maxi skirt
9. chambray shirt
10. black tank top
11. 4 “cute” shirts
12. 3 v-neck shirts
14. black leggings
15. dark skinny jeans
16. 5 dresses: 3 casual, one maxi, 2 fancier
How I packed all that into my backpack:
I used the rolling method for the bulkier items and Ziploc bags for smaller things like t-shirts and underwear, socks. My backpack loads from the top, and as you can see, it’s like a cave down there:
By keeping the smaller things together in bags, they won’t sink to the bottom and be lost forever…
Here’s a peek of what is in the toiletry bags:
I’m not sacrificing cuteness (or 4-5 inches of height) just because Europe has cobblestone streets. I’m outsmarting the treacherous cobblestone with wedges. These are also surprisingly light, so they don’t weigh down my bag. On longer travel days, I’ll stick with my converse but sandals are fine for daily outings.
What I’m wearing on the plane:
I will not apologize for wearing leggings on the plane. They aren’t see through (I did the bend over test, they passed!) and if I’m embarking on 21 hours of travel, I want to be comfortable.
What’s in my cross-body bag:
Please note the book selection ;)
What I’m taking in my carry-on:
I like bringing a change of clothes in my carry-on just in case my luggage is lost. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, right?!
Not pictured: fast-drying towel, bras, and extra Ziploc bags for dirty clothes, wet swimsuit, etc.
Altogether, my backpack weighs 19 lbs. and it doesn’t feel too heavy on my back because of the internal frame. There is some room for new purchases too! I should have everything I need and some things may be unnecessary but I feel very prepared for our trip. We start in Prague, travel to Munich, Amsterdam, hopefully Belgium (I really just want to try a waffle), and my journey ends in Paris.
I’m off to go learn some basic German! I think three key phrases will be enough for me to get by…
Sprechen sie Englisch? Konnen sie mir behilflich sein? Ich hatte gerne ein groβes Bier.
Do you speak English? Can you help me? I’d like a large beer please.