Personally, preparation for this trip came in a few. Step one was getting mentally ready to commit to traveling abroad. It’s my first time traveling internationally and my first time being away from home for this long without close friends or family accompanying me. A large part of me kept questioning if I could really do this in the beginning, but as the trip got closer and closer the confidence I had in myself grew and by the time I got to the airport I was eager to get on the plane. I’m definitely pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone doing a trip like this, but I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m so excited.
The second step was actually getting all my stuff together. I spent a couple weeks getting little things here and there kind of trying to spread out my expenses. I tried to find deals where I could, and price check a lot of what I needed on amazon for lower prices. I also tried to spend money on things I could use beyond this trip. Having that mind set really helped me justify spending money on a couple nice things. Overall, I did spend some money getting my gear but everything I bought for this trip didn’t add up to too big of a bill. A little thing that helped a lot was asking around to some of my family to borrow things was also a big help. My cousin has done a couple backpacking trips around Europe, so she was a great person to ask for advice on what to bring and how to pack. She was even nice enough to let me borrow the backpack she used for those trips, which really came in clutch.
Minutes before leaving the house I was rushing around and remembered some sentimental items that I wanted to take with me. This is such a symbolic and spiritual trip, and with my catholic upbringing it hit me to bring the rosary my aunt Mary gave me for my first communion, along with a scallop shell my aunt Karen gave me and some prayer cards for my grandmom, granddad and my brother Ryan who passed away last year. I was also given one of Ryan’s golf gloves which seems random, but it means a lot to have it and to carry it with me along my journey. It’s these little things that if I left home without them, I know I would’ve missed the most.