Now I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but I have a good excuse this time. For the past ten days I’ve been doing some serious travelling around Europe. I went to six countries, visited 8 cities, slept on buses and trains, saw a wonder of the world, and ate lots of yummy food! But before I get into the story, let’s rewind and look at the days leading up to this grand adventure. I swear this will be quick because I know you are dying to hear about all the amazing fun I had while travelling.
We planned this trip rather quickly, but all the pieces had relatively fallen together. There were a few parts of our trip that we would have to figure out when we got there. So with that said I was kinda stressing out!! I like things to be more locked down and the fact that we were going on this trip with some things not guaranteed, I was a bit scared. I’m a planner and going to places I’ve never been before, travelling by backpack city to city, had a certain level anxiety attached to it. I had a knot in my stomach in the days leading up to our departure. I didn’t sleep that much at night because I was worrying about things that I didn’t need to be worried about. I was so excited, but I also couldn’t wait for it to be over and the anxiety to be gone. Now I know that saying I couldn’t wait for my trip to be over sounds a little strange, but it is the only way I can describe my feelings. I was really happy to be doing this crazy trip, but at the same time I was scared out of my mind and couldn’t wait to not be stressed anymore.
I should also let you know that a couple of other things were also happening during the week of our departure. I had my first big English paper due. This paper is worth 40% of my final grade, so I had to make sure that it was a good paper. That is one thing that is very different about the English school system, my final grade for all my classes are based on two papers. There is no homework grade, quizzes/test grades and not measurement for classes participation or attendance. Though I will get more into the differences in the school system in another post. I also had to submit my course schedule for the spring semester back at my home university. Planning my schedule for the spring was a HUGE headache because I had to keep email both my advisers about the courses I was thinking of taking. I was also debating whether to drop my honors minor to pick up a psychology minor and on top of that many of the course overlapped on my schedule. I spent nearly a week trying to work out the best schedule that included what I need to take and what I wanted to take, cutting out some important classes to make room for others. Needless to say I was very happy when I got down the my final schedule draft. My school does registration online and every student is assigned a time to submit their schedule. My registration time just happened to be on the Friday that I left for Paris. I emailed my adviser to let her know that I didn’t know how I would register because I wasn’t sure when or if I’d have internet access for the ten days that I was gone. Luckily I have the most amazing adviser ever how was so helpful through this stressful process. She contacted the admissions office and worked with them to figure out what my options were. She was amazing and in the end I just had to email her the classes I wanted and she sent that off to the admissions office, who processed it when my registration time happened on Friday. I don’t know what I would have done with out all her help.
Now that I’ve ranted on about how stressed I was because of the work I had to do, one of the hardest things was packing for the trip. As I’ve stated before I am an over packer. I need to go to counselling for over packing. It is really bad. When we go on vacation in the summer I pack a suitcase full of clothes, including jeans and sweatshirt (I don’t know why I need them at the 80 degree beach, but I pack them “just in case”). For this trip I had to fit 10 days into a backpack. Yes you heard me right a backpack. We literally backpacked around Europe. This actually was something on my bucketlist, so I was happy to be doing it, but figuring out what clothes to bring was a real pain in the butt. My advise to anymore who is bringing a limited amount of clothes, is layering. Pack clothes that you can mix and match with. This allows you to wear different outfits each day, but without bringing a different outfit for each day. I ended up packing two dress, tights, two skirts, three sweaters, a pair of jeans and five shirts. Written out that seems like a lot, but I assure you that is not a lot of clothes. With clothes all laid out I needed the other essentials: toiletries, makeup and jewelry. I brought the minimal of each of these. I had three pairs of earings that I could wear with my outfits, basic makeup (mascara, eyeliner and coverup) and travel sized shampoo and body wash. Then the only other things you really need our your tickets, passport and yourself!
I just wanted to make a post about the days leading up to the trip before I dive into my stories of adventure and fun whilst running around Europe. Keep an eye out for the posts about each of my stops!
Until next time…