June 21,2019 - June 26, 2019 - Scroll down for Photo Gallery
It has always been a dream of mine to go backpacking through Europe. I think it has been a dream for a lot of Americans as well as people from other countries. There is something about the timing of it all that plays a big part of it. Regardless of what may be
going on in life, I realized I don’t want to be in a hospital or my death bed and be thinking that I hadn’t even felt a majority of what is becoming a smaller and smaller world. With technology we can see these places that we always have wanted to visit. We can watch movies, listen to music, and if we are lucky, we can wander a big city in the United States and be sure to find some tasty food from another culture. Imagine Europeans doing the same thing in reverse. I’ve traveled abroad before and once I had a taste, I now know that drinking Sangria in the Midwest pales in comparison to sipping a glass at dinner in Spain.
You may be thinking, where is this going? What am I going to post about on this trip? I asked myself the same question months ago. The answer is simple and is my very first tip to any trip, event, or life experience that is of great importance in the future: create an intention.
My therapist and I sat down a few weeks before my departure across the pond. She asked me what was my intention for the trip. I knew she was going to ask me this because we had been practicing setting intentions for various life scenarios for over a year now. Yet, I still was a bit fuzzy about my answer. I paused and said, my intention is to go far away, leave my baggage there, and come home. My reference to baggage was of the emotional kind of course, not the literal baggage. (Although, when it came time to pack, I wanted nothing more than to bring a backpack with nothing in it. We will talk more on that tangent in a moment.) As I responded, I heard myself simultaneously and already knew that just wasn’t it. It wasn’t the response either of us were going to be content with. She peered at me from behind her glasses and said, “You know what I would like?”, and before she continued, I already knew what she was going to say, but curiosity and my everlasting desire to hear truths unaltered by quick response had me answer a simple “What?”. She said she would like to see me put my baggage down before I leave. I nodded instantaneously.
I have been resisting putting my baggage down for as long as I can remember. Especially in the realm of romantic relationships. The tight grip I have on it creates a sweaty palm and white knuckles. If I put it down for a second to rest, I linger around it, analyze it, I own it. It had a sense of pride with it. Experience. I carry it around as lessons learned as to not make the same mistake again, but it has done little good to protect me from that which I carry it for. It has pushed people away, drove wedges into wonderful relationships, created personality traits in myself that I personally do not even want to be and frankly I am just exhausted from the gravity of it all. I am ready to put it down, and the extra support is more than welcome.
My intention for this trip is to put my baggage down AND walk away from it. In this case as far as I can imagine. I am embarking on the longest date I have ever been on in my life. I am dating myself so I can fall in love with me over and over and over again. Listed here are the things I took with me emotionally and follows are the things I took with me to make me comfortable enough in those categories so that I could feel at ease far away from that which is familiar to me. In later posts you can read about how that familiarity actually crossed international waters, and I find home in unexpected places.
Emotional Necessities and the Objects I find helpful to support them
Commitment to self care in all forms: mind, body, spirit.
To support this, I brought single packets of vegan protein powder, shaker, bottles upon bottles of vitamins, protein bars, crystals, neck pillow, Doctor Bronners, a journal given to me by bestie Tanja, my all birds kicks, Bose noise cancelling headphones and my Pentax camera.
Trust in my ability to keep myself safe and secure so I can return back to the U.S.
To support this, I brought RFID purses, wallets, multiple contacts with banks, and a few different kinds of wraps that keep money, badge, and passport close to my body.
Comfort in my nationality, where I am from, languages I speak
To support this, I signed up for a two week long group tour for the places I thought I may need some help to get around.
Dedication to my studies
To support this, I brought my laptop, bought international data to hotspot when Wi-Fi fails, a highlighter, and books.
Confidence in my street smarts
To support this, I brought my hiking backpack to really encompass my character of an authentic European Backpacker.
This trip is one of the many brave things I have done. It certainly won’t be the last. As much as it may feel like a perfect dream seemingly too good to be true, I am happy for this moment. This moment is my life. Keep up with me in my next posts as I go to Amsterdam next! In the meantime, enjoy my photos from Copenhagen below.