I am Karla Wheatley’s daughter… needless to say she has taught me everything a girl ought to know about anything and everything in this world. That is why I love her!!! Happy Mother’s Day MOM!!! One thing she instilled in all her daughters was the importance of preparation. Ever since I found out I was accepted on my study abroad the preparations began. Here is how to prepare for the ultimate extended trip to Europe!
First: pick a wardrobe that allows mixing matching and versatility. These are only half of the photos that 6 tops, 5 bottoms, and two cardigans can create. (ps. I don’t normally take pics of myself in front of mirrors… just for preparation purposes naturally)
Second: You must wear your shoes for two to three weeks before you leave in order to discover shoe faults and shoe gems. Check. I’ve certainly done that. I succumbed to Toms shoes… but you know what… I don’t regret it.
Third: Do your research about the sites you’ll be seeing. Check.
Fourth: Get Maps. Mark locations you want to see, your hotel, and all H&Ms!!!! And if necessary be prepared to “go into the map” like our good friend Joey.
Fifth: Download wireless apps for your phone or various other electronic devices to help you out while traveling! There are language translator soundboards, currency converters, maps of the undergrounds and tubes, city guidebooks, and international clocks that all work without an internet connection!!!
Sixth: Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that you will gain weight. Even with all that walking… you will. Because of this
Seventh: Pack your phone chargers, makeup, and other vitally important items (yes… makeup) in your carry on. Many members of my family have had their bags lost by the airlines when they arrive to their destination. Having the essentials already with you makes life so much easier if your stranded for a few days without your belongings.
Eighth: Know that some things won’t meet your imagined expectations while others will exceed. You can’t always see EVERYTHING on your to do list. Your trip is always different from what you initially imagine it to be, but especially while traveling in a large group, keep a positive outlook.
Ninth: Utilize your “day bag” to its fullest. Never forget the essentials as you won’t be going back to your hotel for the whole day. My essentials: water bottle (dehydration), money(no brainer), IDs (no brainer), map (no man left behind), pen (notes), chap stick (prevent chronic dry lip), foundation (stay fresh all day), cell phone (emergency), 2 bobby pins (prevents snaggle bang), 2 Band-Aids (your blister reliever), 2 ibuprofen (headache), sunglasses (no squinting in pictures thank you), and gum (say no to bad breath!). What is really funny about this is that these things are in my backpack/purse everyday of the year. My standard day bag. That is why they call me Marry Poppins.
Tenth: Get really really really excited! So excited that you don’t sleep the night before you leave, and then conveniently, you’ll be able to sleep all the way on your flight to europe and wake up in Rome at 8 am to embark upon an amazing art history experience!
I have been lucky to travel to many different countries around the world, but have never been to Europe. I feel so blessed for all the experiences I have had and am about to embark upon in just a few days. Europe has been my dream for a long time, and I’m so happy my dream is finally coming true!
One question for the readers- to bring the fedora hat or not to bring the fedora hat? I really love it, and it would definitely disguise no shower morning hair. I just really hope that I am prepared enough… do you think so? hee hee