I've never gone away for longer than a couple weeks before. I've also never moved out of my mom's house. I've also never been anywhere where the first language WASN'T English. I've never been to Europe. Or travelled outside North America (save an Australia trip when I was in Preschool). I've never travelled alone. I don't speak french. So what in God's name am I doing!? So I've taken to asking for advice. From anyone and everyone.
I've been focusing a lot on what to pack for the trip. I read that regardless of whether you're travelling for 3 weeks or 3 months you should pack the same. Which makes sense! For one, why would I bring all sorts of Calgary clothes when I'm going to be living in Paris!? Obviously I am going to go shopping. Two, I don't want to carry a giant suitcase around for six months. So, my plan is to take one bag. I still haven't figured out whether that one bag is going to be a giant backpack or my lulu gym bag (carry-on size). Everything I've decided on bringing fits into half my gym bag, so for the first three months of Paris I'm set. It's just the last three months of backpacking I'm thinking I probably need a backpack for. That part, I've yet to figure out. I really don't want a giant backpack, but I also don't want a backpack that is going to hurt my back. So it needs an internal frame. But I also don't want it to be huge because I don't need that space!
SO, When I asked my friends what I should bring, this is what they said:
"You're going to Paris. Bring nothing and shop there!"
What to bring:
- Light Weight Weather-Proof Jacket
- Big Scarf/Pashmina
- Comfy, Versatile Dress
- Warm Sweater/Hoodie
- Thin, Layering Long Sleeve Shirt
- Only one pair of Jeans
- Leggings/Stretchy Pants
- Lots of Socks and Underwear
- Walking Shoes
- Flip flops for "Greeby Showers"
- Ear Plugs
- Sleep Mask
What to leave:
- Dressy Clothes
- Flat Iron
What I Think I'm Probably Bringing:
- 3 Racerbacks
- 2 (3?) T-Shirts
- 2 Long Sleeve Shirts
- Black Jersey Dress
- Black Cardigan
- Huge Circle Scarf
- Full Length Denim Wunder Unders
- Black Crop Wunder Unders
- Black Opaque Tights
- Black Cable Knit Thigh High Socks
- Plaid Blouse
- 'Cashmere' Crew Neck Pullover
- Army Jacket
My mom got me this compressor thing for packing clothes so everything I wouldn't be wearing on the plane compresses into a dense little ball roughly the size of a ham. The rest of my stuff -- toiletries, underwear, socks, electronics -- would take up the rest of the space in my bag!
Except, I still haven't figured out shoes yet. Walking shoes that are Paris-worthy are SO HARD TO FIND! Especially since I have flat feet and need fancy orthotics. So, another thing to figure out before I go. Also, I still haven't figured out what that strange French receipt is. BAH!