Europe bound

My gut reaction to being overwhelmed with things to do is to do absolutely nothing.

I can’t tell if this is a productive way to handle my stress, and by that of course I mean it’s the worst way to handle my stress. Instead of doing what needs to be done I play a smoke and mirrors kind of a game with myself whereby I convince myself that I have more than enough time to do everything that needs to be done, even when it’s obvious I don’t. This gives me a lot of time to watch videos of baby elephants sitting on people’s laps and/or figuring out what to do with those adorable little trunks dangling from their faces, yet doesn’t really help me sort out the pesky to-dos.

This is a pretty exciting week for me, my boyfriend and I are preparing to go on a two month adventure around Europe, backpacking style. The words you’re reading right now are not actually written by a human but rather by an exploding ball of hysterical energy. I can’t wait to get started, but in the meantime my to-do list is just kind of… a lot. Β You see this is not a trip we’ve had planned for any length of time, but rather a whimsical what-if that turned into a very committed and fairly long escapade which we didn’t really intend. We have lots of ideas and a few solid plans, but a lot of the trip is left open for wherever the wind blows us. That’s kinda what I love about it!

Now I’m trying to organise everything that I could possibly need for two months into a 60L backpack while also packing away all my belongings and preparing my apartment for sublet. Therein lies the stress, because apparently before I can have any fun I have to have a healthy dose of non-fun as a means of keeping all the wonderful parts in check. For example, I don’t really know what kind of weather to expect so I ought to prepare clothes for varying circumstances, yes? But I also don’t want to carry anything that I won’t use, and as I’ve never done the backpacking thing before I’m just scratching my head at what I could possibly need that I’m not thinking of. Are there any seasoned backpackers out there with any tips for me? Please share if so!


Obviously I’m going to be sharing all of the best/worst/in between bits of the adventure here. And of course I’ll be bringing a journal for all the poems that may find their way into my head.

I’m always hearing that you should follow your bliss, and slowly I’m working out what that means to me and going for it. Right now it feels like I need to be traveling, so that’s what I’ll do.

Happy hump day, everyone!


38 thoughts on “Europe bound

  1. You’re doing what many are too afraid to do. Give up chasing the illusion of complete control and let your heart and spirit guide you. Keep it up, it all pays off in the long run.

    1. Thank you! It is a scary thing for sure. I have to trust that I can overcome the challenges that will undoubtedly come up and that I’ll be a stronger person at the end of it all. I appreciate your comment so much 😊

      1. You’re welcome. I know the struggle well, I left home at 18, moved multiple times, was homeless for a year and a half…it all helped me find my way to where I needed/was meant to be.
        Many didn’t know why I didn’t just, “do things the easy way”. I knew what I needed to do for me because I felt it in my heart. As a writer, that’s kind of the key to all I do. Following my heart and trusting things to workout in the long run.

        So any time someone admits they’re following their heart, even though it scares them, I’m all about it. Like, “YES! Get it!” Haha πŸ™‚

        It’s even better to know you’re supported in your journey. Even if by a complete stranger.

      2. Honestly that is so inspiring to read and totally warms my heart. Support from a complete stranger is worth a lot, I knew the WordPress fam would encourage me 😊 I already feel less stressed just from reading these comments!

  2. Here is a bit of packing wisdom I learned from Jerome K. Jerome’s well-known novel Three Men in a Boat, Heather: don’t think too much about what it would be nice to have (since you’ll never be able to pack for every possible comfort or contingency); think about what you absolutely can’t do without. ;- ) Bon voyage!

  3. Travel light. If you need anything when you’re there (here!) buy it cheap and, possibly, discard it before going home. As you and others have said, you’ll never take everything you could possibly need, so why try? What do you really need? Something to eat and drink out of, which could (should?) be the same thing. As for clothes, as few as possible. Again, buy cheap t-shirts, etc., and give them away before heading home.

    But whatever you do, take rainwear that will compress as small as possible, but that will still be water and wind proof. It’s that time of year!

    Oh yes. And have a great trip.

    1. That’s a smart plan. I never thought of discarding things but I’m sure it would be easy enough to pick up/ donate items as I go! I guess as long as I’m prepared for wet/coldish weather I’ll be alright. The rest will sort itself out.

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

      1. I have recently started making lists. I think seeing everything that stresses me out helps me try to organize.

  4. Congrats on your upcoming trip. I’m actually planning on visiting Ireland myself by next year. Hopefully your own updates will give me some ideas on how to plan my own trip.

      1. I’m thinking about staying in Dublin and getting drunk and pretending to be James Joyce for a weekend but who knows. Backpacking sounds fun but I’ve never done it as I’m more of an urban hiker if you will.

      2. ahaha that sounds amazing! Dublin was pretty great from what I remember so I think that’s a solid plan. And I’m the same as you, I’ve never backpacked… just hoping it will somehow suit me :S

  5. I have the same solution to ‘to do’ lists. It often turns out that much of the list wasn’t ‘necessary’ at all! I’m not a seasoned backpacker but if you’re intending to visit England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland (which you definitely should) prepare for rain – it’s what makes The British isles (I’m including Eire, a lovely country) so beautifully green.

    1. I am indeed planning to visit all of those places! I’m particularly interested in Wales as my grandmother was born there and I would love to explore her hometown. I’ve prepared my raincoat for the occasion πŸ˜€

      1. Wales is one of the wettest places! About the advice on discarding stuff. There are a lot of ‘charity shops’ here which sell a load of pre-owned stuff and you’d be able to pick up any clothing you need very cheap then you can give it back to them when you leave if you want. If you visit Yorkshire (God’s own country! – have a look at my today’s, 24 Sep – post) get in touch.

  6. Great post. 😊 I can totally understand you and I hope you’re having an amazing time with your boyfriend. I will go backpacking next year to Australia and Thailand first alone and then with my boyfriend and I am already so excited! Hope after your trip you can share some tips and your experience. Have an awesome journey! Marina 😊

    1. I’m in Switzerland right now, will be heading to Berlin next week. From there we are hopefully renting a car to travel around wherever the wind blows us… the plan is to end up in the UK!

  7. Nice post! I’m actually preparing to leave on a two month European escapade next week and I identify SO much with all of these emotions! Lol. I hope that your trip is going/went well. Thanks for the good read! If you’d like to hear about my travels as well I’m at

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