Pre-trip Trip

Good morning!

So for our little splurge for the summer, we’re able to do a little bit of a vacation to visit one of my besties in San Francisco. We thought this was a great opportunity to try out our travel backpacks! 

This was my general pile of stuff to pack up- enough clothes for 5 days, 4 nights, and an extra change of clothes just in case. I also packed two pairs of shoes, swimsuit, towel, and little accessories, so as to better mimic the kinds of things we’ll be packing for the Europe trip. 


Ashley had a meticulous and different way to pack than I did- she tried the straight military-esque folding, whereas I rolled everything. She had the same amount of stuff as I did. 


All packed up!

When we got the airport this morning (345am, geezus), check in and TSA were a breeze. Since our bags are carry-on size, no checked bags or fees associated with us. We had our gallon bags with our liquids all ready, too, so other than my backpack getting stuck on the security belt (oops!), there were no hold ups. 

They don’t weigh too much, and with the straps buckled across the hips, the weight isn’t even noticeable, so walking around the airport is pretty manageable! 

On the airplane, the bags fit both long and short-ways in the overhead bins, but to save space we put them in short-ways (like a hot dog, I guess). 

Overall, super easy to travel with! Definitely going to work out like a dream for our long trip!

-R

Securing Lodging

Hi again!

So for the past couple of days, I’ve been re-researching the farms in France that Ashley and I are trying to set up for us to work and stay at in France. We both ended up changing our minds about one that we had originally picked, and instead traded it out for a smaller farm, closer to Paris. He has a small orchard, veggie garden, and some chickens to take care of, which is a good starting point for our first stay in France.

I sent an email, explaining who we are and why we were interested in helping out with that farm in particular, and the very next day, I had a reply- we’ve secured our first part of our France stay! 

It’s all becoming so real- I’ve officially contacted and effectively communicated with our first host (in French!). We’re still more than a year out from this part of our adventure, but my excitement keeps on ramping up. I’ve sent an email to the next (hopefully) host and am waiting for the reply. This one keeps bees, chickens, and pigs- two of which I mostly know how to handle. 

Here’s hoping for a quick reply!

-R

Travel Logistics

Hello again! Been a while since the last update, but I mean, we’re still 11 months out from our initial arrival in Dublin. Speaking of. 

So we’ve officially nailed down our departure/arrival/WWOOFing dates for the whole trip. We will be leaving from the US and arriving in Dublin on March 1st, 2017. We will then conclude our trip on September 26th, 2017 by leaving from Amsterdam. 

We will be spending two solid months touring the island of Ireland, followed by about two months between Scotland and London. As of now, we’ll mostly be staying around that main city, but we might take some day trips around since it’s not a terribly huge country.  

At the start of July, we’ll head to France. We’ll be spending the majority of our time in the south of France, right on the beaches during the end of July and all of August. I’m so excited for this part. 

We finally made up our minds about the last 3ish weeks of our trip, and we’ll be spending them between Belgium and Holland. These last few weeks will be the most financially stressing, however they’ll be a wonderful ending to the whole excursion. 

While Ashley and I were researching where we are going to be staying, we bought our joint subscription to WWOOF France in order to give ourselves plenty of time to work on our written French in order to contact our (hopefully!) hosts. In doing so, I tried to compare the best prices for train vs bus travel- let me tell you, buses are so much cheaper. One major caveat though- the bus ride from Nice, France to Brussels, Belgium will take an estimated 14 hours! 

… So we might just suck it up and buy train tickets for the long rides. We’ll see. 

-R

Getting Started

Well, this is exciting! I’ve never tried to run a blog before, and luckily I have Ashley to help with the writing bit, otherwise this would be more rambly than it already likely is. So first thing’s first- welcome to the start of our adventure! We’re about a year out of our departure date, and we’ve started making our first big purchases. Last Wednesday we had the fortune of receiving our new travel backpacks despite the snow storm. They’re two Deuter Transit 50L backpacks, which we picked in order to have enough space for our stuff for the full 7 months while not being too terribly heavy. It also comes with an incredible amount of straps and buckles and adjustments. IMG_0578

Today, I finally mustered up the energy to attempt to pack the majority of the packing list I’ve made into my bag, along with some general space fillers in order to account for anything I either don’t yet have or didn’t pack up.

IMG_0579

Believe it or not, but this is actually the backpack when it’s full of all of my stuff. It doesn’t look to terribly bulky or full, but the straps on the side definitely help to keep it more streamlined than without them.

IMG_0582

There’s also this fantastic feature that helped Ashley and I decide to snag these two bags over the other backpacks we were considering, and it’s that the front panel actually separates into a day travel pack.

IMG_0580

It helps considerably with bulkiness of the overall bag, and we’re hoping that by using both sections efficiently that we might not have to check our bags when we fly out of the US. Maybe we’ll be able to do it- we’ll be making a trip to REI with our full bags when it’s a little bit closer to the time to be getting ready to leave. It also helps to have the smaller bag for day trips into different parts of the towns we’ll be staying in. No need to be over encumbered with the big bags while wandering new streets!

I’ll be making a section on here somewhere to document my overall packing list, and maybe if anyone has any suggestions drop me a line!

Hopefully we’ll check back in soon!

IMG_0577

-R