My journey to Europe

Mr. Romantic and I went to Europe!

We planned a 16-day trip to visit Paris, London, Bath and Salisbury. I was very excited to go! … and a little nervous… 

My only plane trips until then were the ones Mr. Romantic and I took last year to NYC and back. 

This plane trip from Montreal to Paris was a significantly longer one (7 hours or so). I handled it well.

"So, 16 days… whaddya bring with you, minimalist?” 

I’m glad you asked! Just like with our trip to NYC, I packed light. I only brought what fit in my carry-on, travel belt, and purse.

To prepare for the trip, I read blogs and other articles giving advice on what to wear in the cities we were to visit to blend in and not look like a tourist. It mentioned the type of shoes you should wear. A little boot with a heel and fancier, but casual flats. Finding comfortable shoes is difficult for me. The only pair of shoes I could find that didn’t hurt my feet were dark grey athletic shoes. I was feeling a little self-conscious about wearing them when I left. But if I was to be comfortable and enjoy my trip, the athletic shoe it had to be.

Well you know what? Almost everyone I saw no matter where I went was wearing some kind of athletic shoe. Some of them where quite flashy with neon or metallic colours.

These cities are very much walking cities. It’s hard to be comfortable navigating cobble stoned streets in heels. Heck! It’s hard to be comfortable in heels no matter where you are, period!

In my carry-on:
  1. Black jeans 
  2. Burgundy jeans
  3. Black capris with little white polka-dots (in case it got warm)
  4. Black tank-top 
  5. Blue tank-top
  6. Black t-shirt
  7. Black jersey cardigan
  8. Black wool sweater
  9. Nightgown
  10. Light jacket
  11. 1 bra
  12. 6 panties
  13. 6 pairs of socks
  14. Ballerina flats
  15. Toothbrush and tooth paste
  16. Deodorant
  17. Razor
  18. 4 face cloths (Just in case. I read somewhere that face cloths apparently aren’t common in Europe.)
  19. Scrubba (It’s a clothes washing bag. I’ll be using shampoo from the hotels or dish soap I buy in Europe as laundry detergent.)
  20. Camping elastic cord that I can use as a clothes line
  21. Pain relief medication and other prescription
  22. Bathing suit
In my travel belt:
  1. Passport
  2. Money
  3. Credit and debit cards
In my purse:
  1. Hairbrush, hair-tie and barrette
  2. Lubricating eye drops
  3. Tweezers and compact mirror
  4. Digital camera
  5. Cell phone (although I might keep it in my travel belt)
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Feminine hygiene supplies
  8. Light and compact umbrella
  9. Rag to wipe my sunglasses
  10. Notebook
  11. Pen
  12. Health card
  13. Driver’s license
On the plane, I wore:
  1. Blue jeans
  2. Black ¾-sleve t-shirt
  3. Rain jacket
  4. Comfortable walking shoes
Until the last minute, I was debating bringing mascara, eye-liner, and lipstick. I very rarely wear make-up. If I’d brought these items, I would’ve needed to bring make-up remover. So that would mean 4 extra items (the make-up in my purse and the make-up remover in my carry-on). So I decided against it.
 
For this trip, I bought a carry-on with several security features. Paris is notorious for pick-pockets and thieves. So I didn’t want to take a chance. However, I realized that whatever I had that was valuable, I kept in my purse (which is also equipped with security features). Therefore, the carry-on turned out to be an unnecessary purchase. There was nothing in it that I would have been sad to lose.
 
Speaking of the things in my carry-on, you can’t pack 16 days’ worth of clothing in a carry-on, unless you’re willing to stink, or do a few loads of laundry during your trip. And that’s just what we did. Not stink, but laundry.
 
I tried using my Scrubba for the first wash. I didn’t like the results. And our hotel rooms were too small to efficiently dry hand-washed clothes. Maybe it just takes some getting used to.
 
So we did a total of three washes and spent about 1 hour in the Laundromat each time.
 
The only casualty was when I got a little careless and ruined my wool sweater by putting it in the dryer. I got rid of it because it shrunk so much, it no longer fit me.
 
I must say that I was pretty happy having only a carry-on. I was watching other travelers having to lug around huge bulky luggage. Traveling is tiring enough without adding the extra weight and trouble of multiple suitcases.
 
When I went to NYC, I brought my e-reader. However, I didn’t use it. I didn’t bring it along this time. I figured that if I really want to read, I’d use a phone app.
 
Well turns out that I couldn’t control the screen brightness with the app on my phone. So it was way too bright to read in a dark room. I missed my e-reader.
 
I'm lucky and grateful that I have a Mr. Romantic who likes to plan and take care of logistics. I just get to go along and enjoy the experience.
Everything was beautiful, but Bath was definitely my favourite city. I was utterly charmed by it!
 
Although I loved my trip and was excited to see what I saw, it made me appreciate home.

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