Holy cow. It’s today. Today is here. Now is today. Today is today!
I mean, my flight is still 18 hours away (sad), buuut the 18 hours are 100% accounted for! After writing this blog, I will sleep until 10AM, shower & get ready to go out, walk along Queen Street West (downtown Toronto) with some new coworker friends (amazing people aside, the job itself was hell – props to everyone in the retail industry), have dinner with a high school friend, come home, pack the last minute shit that I’ve been unable to pack (due to daily usage), and then GO TO THE AIRPORT!!! …. where I will undoubtedly want to bash my head against the wall during that waiting period before I board the plane… and then once I’m “comfy” in the plane, I’ll just pop some melatonin & PTFO until LONDON ENGLAND AHHHHH!
Over the past 6 months, I have constantly abused my wallet… and then neglected it (because I memorized ALL my payment information from overuse). I’ve received calls from the bank about suspicious card usage. I’ve harassed all my friends who went to Europe (some were super helpful.. others, not so much — you know who you are :P). I’ve cleared my cookies a bajillion times every time I searched for cheap flight/other deals. I’ve packed, unpacked, and repacked my backpack over twenty times.
But today is the day that it all comes to an end.
What I Packed for the Next 10 Weeks
- 2 black leggings: one thick, one thin
- 3 shorts: black denim, black athletic, white summery
- 2 skirts: black skater, one maxi
- 2 jackets: one thicker, one thinner
- 4 dresses: 2 casual, 2 dress up-able/down-able
- 10 tops: I need them all, OK?
- 1 bikini
- 3 socks
- 7 undies
- 2 bras: strapless & not
- 3 shoes: flip flops, black runners, wedges
- Backpacking backpack
- Smaller daypack
- Even smaller purse (& it fits inside daypack so that I can meet the baggage requirements for the stupid budget airlines)
- Small umbrella (I’ll ditch it if it becomes more of a hassle than it’s worth)
- Toiletries + small towel
- Mini straightener
- Hat (my mom made me… sigh)
- Makeup + female products
- Sunglasses, glasses, contact lens things
- 2 outlet converter sets
- Gopro + charger
- Mirrorless camera + charger
- Laptop + charger
- Phone + charger
- 2 portable chargers
- 3 earphones and 3 pens
- Passport, wallet
- Pills: lactase, melatonin, tylenol, motion sickness
Things I Did to Prepare/Plan
- Open a bank account that allows me to forgo the $5 withdrawal fee for withdrawing cash abroad (look into it. I’d say TD & Scotiabank are your best bet if you’re from Canada)
- Attempt (I failed) to order an international credit card from Amazon… I got rejected because I don’t have three credit cards. Sad. You should try it though because it’ll save you from paying the conversion fee when using it abroad.
- Buy a money belt to wear under clothes to hold passport & extra cash in case of being mugged/pickpocketed
- Couchsurf (x7), Airbnb (x6), and Hostelworld (x10) every day (I think I still need to find places to stay in 3 cities)
- Argue with my mom about how Couchsurfing shouldn’t be ruled out and she should have more faith in the world… and then proceed to empty my bank account to book Airbnbs and hostels
- Wonder how to tell my dad I’m going on this trip (I still haven’t told him, but maybe he can tell by the fact that I’ve been packing for the past month LOL)
- Do background checks on some of my Couchsurf hosts (the ones with few references) by messaging the people (usually females my age) who left the references and confirming that they felt safe
- Save photos of all my important documents (you can use Google Drive, Dropbox, a USB, etc.)
- Turn all my ticket vouchers & confirmation emails with important information into PDFs & saved with my important documents (above)
- Order two Eurail pass reservations to be mailed to my hostel in London
- Put all the other trains/flights/ferries/etc I’m taking into my calendar, including time of departure/arrival, stops in between, reference numbers, etc.
- Write down the address, check-in, check-out, payment, & contact information of all the places I am staying at and visiting (hostels, Airbnbs, couches, daytime activities)
- Download the apps I’ll need while travelling: Airbnb, Hostelworld, Couchsurfing, Rail planner, Rome2rio, maps.me (an offline map), Lonely Planet guide, etc.
Okay it’s almost 6AM, and my head is buzzing from all the planning I did today. There’s definitely more, but they’re not that important. I need to get to bed. Good night! Wish me a safe flight! And let me know if you have any questions/suggestions regarding preparation for a big backpacking trip. 🙂