A Travellerspoint blog

Operation Carry-On

Packing Up My Life for the Next 2 Months


View Katie's Euro Trip on katiemc08's travel map.

Figuring out exactly what you need to live for a week can be a challenge, nevermind two months. I will be the first to admit that micro planning and organization are not my strongest skills. I like to go with the flow and have a method to the madness I create around myself. As a result, the preparation pieces of this trip took me out of my comfort zone before leaving. I had to be extremely detail oriented an organized in order to pull off this trip in less than 3 months. Before I get into how I fit my life into one, carry-on size backpack, let me provide some background as to why I decided to embark on my trek across the European continent.

My place of employment was offering a voluntary separation package to any employee that was interested in leaving the organization, whether it was to retire, find a new place of employment, go back to school, reimagine your life, etc. After taking this consideration to heart, I decided to take the plunge. I really wanted to use this opportunity to fulfill a yearning I have had for years…to travel Europe with an itinerary birthed completely on my own. This could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. I have felt as though I have not been challenged within the past couple years, and have struggled to discover what it is that lights a fire under my ass. What makes me decisive about what I want, and motivates me to be the best I can be in my life. So, why not throw myself into a situation where I am traveling alone for the most part, and don’t speak the native tongues. If it didn’t happen now, there is no telling if it would ever happen.

Naturally, I overthought about every item going into my bag and ran around like a crazy woman trying to put everything together. After packing up the backpack, that bad boy weighed in at 21 lbs. (just under the weight limit for many inter-European airlines). These are the items I decided to bring:

Clothes:
2 pants
3 tank tops
1 cardigan
1 dress
3 pairs of socks
4 pairs of underwear
1 athletic shorts for bed
1 bedtime shirt
Bathing suit
Raincoat

Shoes:
TOMS (for walking around)
Wedge sandals (for nicer occasions
Shower shoes

Toiletries:
Deodorant
2 razors
Toothbrush and holder
Toothpaste
Mascara
Red lipstick!
2 nail clippers
Nail file
Q-tips
Face lotion

Electronics:
Laptop (& charger)
Nikon camera (& charger)
Phone (& charger)
Memory stick for phone pics
Converter
Headphones

Travel Necessities:
Passport and cover
3 money pouches
Credit card holder
Turkey Visa
Copies of all documents
Eye mask and ear plugs (yes, a necessity)

Misc:
3 maps (Italy, France, Spain)
Book
Extra Bag for Clothes
Journal & pen

Trying to be minimal is a big challenge and foresee myself becoming a pro at washing clothes in the sink and shower. I know I will accumulate more weight after my first stop in Istanbul and figuring out what to dump from my bag won't be easy. That is a decision for another day, its time to travel!

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Posted by katiemc08 11:48 Archived in USA Tagged backpack preparation Comments (0)

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