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October 2015

Europe Fashion Gear

What I’m Wearing While Backpacking Europe: Month One

October 3, 2015

Karley here! Ever since announcing our 2.5-month backpacking trip through Eastern Europe, my husband and I have been the recipients of good luck wishes, safe travel sentiments, and more than a few “but what are you going to wear?” questions – the latter of which were mostly directed toward me, and always accompanied by a look similar to that emoji who looks like he’s smiling and grimacing in horror at the same time.

I totally get it. A. Ten weeks is a long time, B. backpacks are small, and C. I have a reputation for being a notorious over-packer. (As in, I took multiple suitcases to France for a stay that was only slightly longer than the trip we’re on now, and still “had” to have my mom ship me a few extra things internationally. Including instant pumpkin spice latte packets from Starbucks, but that’s another confession for another time. Ahem.)

Anyway, that’s all in the past. I am officially a “good packer” now, as evidenced by the fact that I can fit enough (decently cute!) clothes to last multiple months into a space I previously wouldn’t have thought was big enough to comfortably accommodate a Chihuahua. And while I’m not exactly sure how this happened, I can point with certainty to the “when” – that would be the day I took my wedding vows and promised to love, cherish, and follow my travel-loving husband all around the world with as little baggage (physical and otherwise) as possible.

Back on track: let’s talk about the backpack. The actual size of my Osprey Farpoint 40 is measured in terms of volume, but to give you a visual, it is small enough to be approved as a carry-on bag by European low-cost airline carriers.

I know what you must be thinking (and when I say “you” I really mean my best friend, who actually said this verbatim at one point) – “That is not big enough to hold my underwear for two weeks, let alone two months.”

The thing is, though, it actually contains all of this (and more):

  • Two long sleeve tops
  • Long johns
  • One pullover
  • Two jackets
  • One rain coat
  • Four tanks
  • Three short sleeve tops
  • One pair of jeans
  • One pair of black pants
  • One pair of comfy (I refuse to use the word “convertible”) pants
  • One pair of shorts
  • One dress
  • One maxi skirt
  • Three pairs of shoes

If I was a math person, I would tell you exactly how many possible outfit combinations that allows me. Since I majored in writing, however, you’ll have to settle for pictures instead. Here’s a quick peek at a few of the combinations I’ve come up with during our first month of travel!

warsaw & kraków, poland

poprad & bratislava, slovakia

zagreb & pula, croatia

split, croatia

Are you hashtag #impressed? I really hashtag #hopeso, because I don’t exactly have any other options to pull into the mix. Luckily, it’s a creative challenge that has proven to be – dare I say it? – really fun (and super convenient) so far. Who knows? Tricking myself into thinking I’m wearing something new using the same basic pieces is a talent that could eventually help us save enough money to see the Four Seasons Bora Bora in person rather than on Instagram one day. A girl can dream! (And her husband can pray.)

Next up in this mini series, I’ll break down why I selected each item in my pack + how I managed to cram it all into just one carry-on + what the heck doing laundry looks like on the road. And don’t worry, you’ll definitely get a look at what month two has in store, outfit-wise. Hint hint: My ballet flats and convertible maxi skirt/dress are just starting to make appearances…

Stay tuned! (And do me a favor…don’t bother counting how many times I’ve already worn the pink scarf. I lost track after week one! #pinkisthenewblack)