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One Pack, Ten Days: A Minimalist Approach To The European Vacation

By Author: ash clark
Total Articles: 12

There are two types of European tourists. Those who purchase a five-piece set of designer luggage in preparation for their trips and return home with a few more checked bags of Italian shoes and a load of airport souvenirs for their nieces and nephews. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is the backpacker. Whether the second type of tourist is a daydreaming college student with a parent’s credit card or a seasoned traveler who has worn many a pair of socks until they got crunchy, backpack travel in Europe is an entirely different experience than a Samantha Brown vacation or Carnival culture tour.

Although I’ve been known to carry a hair dryer and too many pairs of shoes, stuff a larger-than-allowable carry-on into the overhead bin to the dismay of my fellow passengers, even come home with a canary yellow Mexican woven blanket that’s never been out of my linen closet, I took a minimalist approach to backpack travel on a recent trip to Rome and Paris. One backpack. No purse. No tote. No room to return with anything more than what I carried with me. The consequences of this decision were astounding.

With no electronics beside a camera and only three small bottles loosely stuffed in my clear, quart-sized bag, I breezed through security. Going to the bathroom was unusually simple. There are hooks in those stalls perfect for twenty pound packs. No purse meant my passport and credit cards were safe in the pockets of my many layers of clothing. Carrying only one pair of tennis shoes prevented me from blistering my feet in an attempt to look stylish while walking around the Eiffel Tower on a rainy New Year’s Eve. My three pair of underwear held up just fine with a little hotel shampoo, hot water, and placement in front of the heater at night. I spent drastically less money than usual on tourist crap knowing that I would have to sacrifice a third of my wardrobe for the next ten days if I wanted to bring back one of those light-up, spinning, flying things street vendors shoot above Trevi Fountain on winter nights.

Backpack travel isn’t always comfortable. Or necessarily clean. But I’ve already forgotten what I wore the day I strolled through Marie Antoinette’s bedroom anyways.


About the Author-

Hi I’m Ash Clark and this is TheMostAlive.com a space dedicated to sharing stories, photography and videos from unique destinations across our world. We hope they inspire you to discover the world you live in as well.


Total Views: 76Word Count: 435See All articles From Author

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