What to Pack to Backpack Through Europe >> Life In Limbo

What to Pack to Backpack Through Europe

The Trip: I’m backpacking through Europe for 3 months, spanning the summer and early fall. I’m travelling with a carry-on bag only, and you can read more about why I came to that decision (and find a link to the bag if you’re interested) here. My travels are mainly focused on the more balmy mediterranean countries, but I’ll still be there as it starts to get chilly, so I’ve packed enough layers to see me through different temperatures.

Great Resources: My list of what to pack when backpacking through Europe is inspired by a lot of wonderful lists I found online. OneBag is the mother of all packing lists, with great recommendations and detailed explanations for each item – definitely start there. While I didn’t pack everything he has on his list, Rick Steves knows what he’s talking about when it comes to packing for Europe. I really liked Peanut Butter Fingers’ post for inspiration about what clothes to pack – she’s more my age than some of the other blogs, so it’s a bit more of an accessible post. Her Packing List has a huge resource page for a plethora of different packing lists for all over the world in all seasons. Finally, Never Ending Voyage has a great packing list for carry-on travel.

The List:

Clothes

Clothes 1

  1. Three cardigans (two long-sleeved, one 3/4-sleeves)
  2. Two plain t-shirts (one navy blue, one black)
  3. Three shirts (all short sleeves)
  4. Five tank tops + 1 sleep shirt (not pictured)
  5. Bras, underwear, socks, black tights
  6. One long sleeved striped shirt (not pictured)

*Two Eagle Creek packing cubes

Clothes 2

  1. Two skirts
  2. Black leggings
  3. Five dresses (one not pictured)
  4. Two pairs of pants (one pair of jeans, one pair of khakis) and a belt

Clothes 3

  1. Knee-length running shorts
  2. Long-sleeved running top
  3. Bikini top
  4. One-piece swimsuit
  5. Two bikini bottoms

Clothes 4

  1. Jacket: light weight and water-resistant
  2. Sunglasses
  3. Purse with shoulder strap

DSC_0112

  1. Toms
  2. New Balance Minimus running shoes
  3. Crocs flats: these are completely washable and quick-drying, so I’m planning to use them as shower shoes, water shoes, or flats

*The reason some things aren’t pictured is because I added them at the last minute, post photoshoot!

Toiletries

DSC_0118

Top Row: Headband, bandaids, Advil, earplugs, hair elastics, floss, razor blade, matches, soap flakes

Second Row: L.L. Bean Toiletries Case, headlamp, whistle, USB drive, eye mask, Light My Fire spork, comb, toothbrush, Diva Cup, padlock

Third Row: Dr. Bronner’s Lavender All-Purpose Soap, 2 bottles Clear Care contact solution, sunscreen, Polysporin, toothpaste, Tide-to-Go pen, conditioner, Lafe’s deodorant, contact lens case, Q-tips, razor.

*Not pictured, because I forgot: concealer, blush, and mascara

Technology

Technology - Packing

  1. Chargers for my camera, iPad and phone
  2. Earphones
  3. MicroSD to iPad connector (to upload photos)
  4. European adaptor
  5. Camera remote
  6. ONA Roma Bag: a camera bag insert that fits into my purse and protects my camera
  7. iPad Mini (a graduation gift from my Dad)
  8. Unlocked iPhone 4
  9. Not pictured (because I was using it!): Nikon D90 + 35mm f.18 lens

Miscellaneous

Extras - Packing

  1. Waterproof bag: for carrying phone, keys, wallet while swimming if I’m at the beach on the solo part of my trip
  2. Sea to Summit Silk sleep sack: lightweight travel sheets (doubles as a blanket on trains)
  3. Travel towel
  4. Passport
  5. Travel wallet and change purse
  6. Moneybelt
  7. Pens, washi tape (for anchoring memorabilia into my notebook), and a notebook.
  8. A small beach towel (not pictured)

Details

I am going to be wearing one pair of shoes and packing the third. I’m also going to be wearing my jacket when travelling between cities (or at least carrying it) but if it’s too hot, it fits, folded into the front pocket of the bag. My shirts + running clothes all roll up nicely and fit into my large packing cube. All my other clothes get rolled up and packed in the bottom of the suitcase along with my travel towel and sleep sack. In my purse I’ll carry my camera and other electronics, unless their are flight restrictions in which case I’ll pack everything inside the bag.

DSC_0142It closes like a charm! For most airlines, you’re permitted a carry-on plus a purse or camera bag. I’ve heard that some European budget airlines (Ryanair/Easyjet) are strict about allowing only one piece of luggage. In the event of that happening, I will still have enough space in my bag to pack my purse inside. The water bottle is a Vapur bottle I can also stow away if I have to.

DSC_0149

And there you have it: my home for the next three months! I love how compact it is, and how everything has its proper place inside.

For this trip, I’ve omitted a few things that most long-term travel blogs recommend: a rubber doorstop (I’m staying in multi-person dorms, so it wouldn’t make sense), a travel clothesline, a well-stocked first aid kit, etc.

What are your travel necessities? What have you packed and then later decided was unnecessary? Have you travelled with only carry-on luggage before? Any tips about how to make my trip go more smoothly?

Let me know in the comments below!

What to Bring to Your Dorm Room

[This post is the last in my Back to School Series]

So you’re going off to University. You must be terrified. Holy moly! Even as I was packing my bags this year, I was remembering my sheer terror as I packed them last year. Luckily, for me that has passed, but maybe you’re still feeling that way? All I can say is: it’s going to be okay! And read this if you want more encouragement. :)

As my last post in my very fun-to-write back to school series, I’m talking about what to bring.

Dorm Room Necessities

 

My dorm room!
My dorm room!

 

Besides the obvious – school supplies, bedding, books and knicknacks – there are tons of things that fill the average dorm room. Food, snacks, and beer abound, along with dirty laundry and stacks of paper. Depending on the size of your room, it could be neater (small space = higher organization!), but nonetheless, most dorm rooms are crammed full of lots of goodies. Now, I know you’ve been scouring the articles online about what else you might need, and you’ve probably heard it all. In case you haven’t though, here are a few awesome lists of what to bring: very comprehensive!

But maybe you’ve read it all before, and want my personal opinion on the subject. The verdict: for rez, you don’t need that much stuff!! I know how exciting it is to be moving away, and I know you want to take everything with you (I sure did..). But remember, you’ll be moving home for the summer most likely, so pack light! I had way, way too much stuff when I moved home! So besides the absolute essentials and a few homey touches, here are my picks for enjoyable dorm living:

 

Journal

 

On a notebook, far, far away
Image by midnightglory via Flickr

 

For me, one of the most indispensable items to have in your toolkit. Even if you can’t manage to journal every day about your crazy adventures, it’s still incredibly useful for when you feel sad or scared or just plain frustrated! I swear by my journal, and always pick ones that are bright and happy. You could also use a sombre Moleskine to record all your seriously serious thoughts.. :)

Plate, cup and cutlery


Because who knows when you’ll be munching on some real Thanksgiving dinner or lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce or a full Hanukkah feast? (Yes, all of which occurred my first year, along with countless brownies, cookies, muffins and other munchies.) Always be prepared! Who knows when the opportunity for food will come along?

 

Sleeping Bag

 

 

A person in a sleeping bag
Image via Wikipedia

 

Very useful! Bring with you when you visit friends, or when they visit you! Also can be used for extra warmth if you live somewhere ridiculously cold.

Earplugs

 

iPod Earplugs
Image by wmbreedveld via Flickr

 

So important! Who knows when the guy directly above you will blast Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin until two in the morning, while bouncing a tennis ball against his wall. Oh wait, I know when he’ll do that! Every stinking night. Avoid the drama and use earplugs. Use them when an ultimate frisbee tournament goes on for a month, every night, until midnight. Use them when you’re at the library for total peace. Love earplugs. Totally a necessity.

 

Flat plastic storage boxes

 

31 January 2007 (2): Stacking Boxes
Image by Ulleskelf via Flickr

 

These are perfect when you have a small space. They fit so neatly under any dorm bed and can act as your little pantry/pharmacy for the year. I kept extra kleenex boxes, contact solution, extra lightbulbs, and way more tucked into those handy little spaces. Great use of space, especially when you don’t have much!

Extra floor lamp

 

IKEA Lamp
Image by Matzelchen via Flickr

 

Ooh. So indispensable for me first year. When it gets dark at 5 in the winter, I get thoroughly depressed, especially if all the lighting I have is an overhead light and a desk lamp. Not feeling it. I favour tall floor lamps, cheap at Ikea that can stand in one corner of your room and cast a loving glow over the whole space. Lovely. :)

 

Rug

 

Afghanmatta.jpg
Image via Wikipedia

 

My rugs kept my feet warm, my room colourful and my floors cleaner. Love rugs. Yay rugs!

 

Your musical instrument

 

 

DanElectro & Kay Guitars - Ottawa 01 08
Image by Mikey G Ottawa via Flickr

 

I found that playing my guitar was a huge stress-reliever last year. anytime I felt overwhelmed, I could just reach into the corner of my room and strum away. I also play the piano, and nearer to the end of the year I started playing the pianos downstairs in our rez. If you don’t play an instrument, sorry! But I really recommend bringing yours if you do have one.

Related Articles

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How exciting!

Isn’t it fabulous to move into a new place and start making it your own?! I love that feeling of settling in somewhere so much, of laying all your things our and getting organized and making everything look absolutely gorgeous! I’m moving into my very first apartment tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited to make it wonderfully mine. I’ll keep you posted on that front!

What do you think about my picks for comfy dorm living? What changed your life when you were living in a tiny room? Let me know!

Good luck with the transition my loves!

xoxo,


Shawty What Cho Name Is

Well it’s Wednesday morning and I already have much on the agenda. In truth, I don’t have much to blog about so I’m just going to make a list of the books I plan to bring with me to University and why. Enjoy?

Also check out my Shelfari account for a (more) complete list of the books I’ve read or loved.

Hopefully that link works..very strange.

Okay so here we go. Books are extremely important to me, so it’s important that I bring at least some with me when I go away to school.

1. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. No matter that I can already practically quote the entire book, so much so that I no longer really need to read it, it remains one of my favourite books.

2. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. What turned me into a vegetarian. I think it’ll be important to have around in University perhaps to re-read when my stamina is low?

3. This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin. This guy is my psychology teacher! Not to mention the fact that I’ve wanted to read it for a while, but never did. Now that he’ll be my professor, I think it would be a good idea to read it. :)

4. Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill. Set in Montreal, award winning, recommended by a good friend, Miss Claudia Catalina, who has impeccable taste. Check her out here.

5. 1000 Places to Go Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. To help me plan my next vacation/semester abroad/grand gap year while stuck in a tiny, freezing cold dorm room. But this dorm room will be in Montreal, which is beautiful in itself. So that’s okay then.

6. Blink & The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. These books are incredible. They changed the way I see the world and I’m sure I will re-read them multiple times throughout my University career.

Now for a few I haven’t yet read, but own:

7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

8. Netherland by Joseph O’Neill.

9. The World Without Us by Mark Weisman.

10. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

11. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee.

12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

13. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov.

14. No Logo by Naomi Klein.

15. Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut.

16. Bloodletting and the Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam.

17. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

And the book I’m currently reading:

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz.

So there we are. That’s quite a few books. I may have to edit down this list, otherwise I’ll be running out of room in my room before I get there. :)

Plans for today include Ikea, Forever 21, possibly MEC and Big Al’s aquarium. Yay!

xoxo, S.

Here’s Hoping

Today was rather melancholy. It consisted mainly of solitude: sad, weepy solitude, and pensiveness. Like Dumbledore. Oh, forget it.

I spent the day not doing a lot: woke up late, watched some Rich Bride Poor Bride. Cool fact! The episode I watched was of a wedding held at the same venue as my cousins’ wedding! I was there people! I had no idea it was a Canadian show but maybe that entire channel is Canadian and I am just oblivious. I emptied the dishwasher and vacuumed the front hall (Jasper is shedding like mad) and sprayed that poor puppy’s hotspots with some menthol spray that I actually don’t mind the smell of. Updated my iPod and set up my hard drive, whose name is Lacie.

Then I commenced what is possibly one of the saddest things I have ever done. I started cleaning and unpacking my desk/plastic sets of drawers, which of course were full of letters and notes and memories. There was music playing in the background and every song had a meaning for me, every song had a memory. I was getting overwhelmed at the thought of leaving my bedroom, my home, my family to start a brand new life, bringing only certain items with me. I started of course also getting hysterical, wondering about my future, what to bring, what to leave behind, what to throw out, did I do high school right, am I a bad friend, will I make the right sort of friends next year?????? All that funky jazz. It was exhausting to say the least, and I was in and out of periods of weepiness.

I spoke with my best friend Omar a couple times throughout the day, and he was feeling much the same way, not wanting to uproot himself once again after already making two big moves in his life: once from India and another time from Cairo. We were both upset.

I set up a new printer today that my mom got me; it also prints pictures (not well) and functions as a scanner, yippee! It’s white and cute. I am still trying to think of its name, so let me know if you have any ideas. We had dinner, chicken a la king but instead of chicken it was tilapia a la king. It was absolutely delicious.

After dinner, me and my mother had a breakdown together, she more than I this time. She’s really upset that I’m leaving.

I went to pick up Omar, and we came back to my house and (among other things) checked out apps for his phone, drank, and watched Planet Earth with my mom and sister.

All in all, it was a day. I gathered many necessary items together and put them in our spare room, so it gives me some sort of feeling of accomplishment. Which is actually nice, because I am constantly feeling like I’m forgetting something important. Here’s a little pic of my collection thus far: (!!!)

Photo 76

Anyways. I had a mostly good day. Here’s hoping that tomorow will be less stressful, and I’ll be gtd. Once again, I must continue working on my 101/1001 list, because I need it to be ready for when I leave. G’day folks!

xoxo S.