3 weeks. 1 backpack.

Tomorrow I will embark on the biggest adventure I’ve ever been on.

The run down:

In a 3 week period, Clint and I will visit Rome, Tuscany, Siena, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Venice, Paris, Granada, Barcelona, Fes and then end on a camel trek in Marrakech.

We will be sleeping on various night trains, hostels, or abodes found on airbnb (the right way to couch surf).

Now, we will be landing in 60 degree weather, making our way into 20 degrees through Europe, and ending in the heat of Spain. And I have to be able to carry all these climates in one backpack. This thought has plagued me for weeks. I mean- I would wake up in the middle of the night with a nightmare of forgetting everything. As a diagnosed pack rat (just ask any of my friends how much I will bring for an overnight trip), multiple weeks in one bag seemed impossible to me. I made lists and did research. Everything I was going to bring had to serve multiple functions (could be layered or worn alone depending on the weather), felt comfortable enough to walk miles in everyday, and wasn’t going to fall apart. Finally, I settled on what I was going to bring. Blogs like this are what ultimately helped me narrow down what to bring, so let me share my list to any other first time backpackers.


This is my bag.

And here is all it contains: (after the Tetris game I had to play to figure out what could go and what couldn’t make the cut.)

1 black sweater

1 grey sweater

1 black pair of pants

1 pair of jeans

1 white v neck/1 black vneck

1 striped shirt

1 button up denim shirt

1 black skirt  (can be worn alone in the warmth, or with tights for the colder weather)

1 pair of jean shorts (” “)

1 simple dress (to be able to worn on “nicer” occasions and go into the museums that have dress codes)

2 pairs of leggings

1 pair of opaque tights

7 pair of underwear

2 sports bras

1 regular bra (I don’t even wear these at home, but I guess I’ll pretend to be a proper lady in Paris)

5 pairs of socks (long and short)

1 wool scarf

1 silk scarf (spice up my dull black and white wardrobe)

1 pair of smart wool long johns (to be worn under EVERYTHING in Paris where I will surely freeze up and die)

1 thick puffer jacket (which will be carried with me because it takes up half the backpack on it’s own)

1 beanie (warmth and covering up my nappy hair between shower destinations)

1 pair of gloves

1 watch/1 necklace

1 bag of travel toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wipes, Moroccan oil (sue me, I can’t live without it), toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, deodorant, lotion)

1 small bag of makeup (only the bare essentials made the cut- tinted moisturizer, chap-stick, trail sized blush and mascara)

1 travel blowdryer

1 pair of black boots (more dressy and can be worn to nicer things)

1 pair of brown boots (scuffed and worn- good for hiking and long walking days)

1 pair of tennis shoes (for running/ comfortable shoes in the countries that don’t judge you for wearing them)


Ipad (for blogging)



Camera/ Extra memory cards

We are hoping to be able to do laundry somewhere at least once along the trip. And we’ll see how my amateur packing list holds up.

I’ll blog as soon as I get somewhere exciting! Your prayers for our safety are gladly accepted!


3 thoughts on “3 weeks. 1 backpack.

  1. Make sure to give props to your brother for the Tetris reference! Thanks for your call today. I am so excited for your trip and the adventures you are about to have. Remember that the experiences that, at the time, are the most frustrating/scary/maddening are the ones that produce the best memories and stories later. Enjoy!!!!

  2. Sounds like my kind of trip!! So incredible, I am so excited for you! You will do great. It’s surprisingly liberating to have such a small amount of things to keep up with. You may even find yourself thinking you could have gotten away with less! I fully intend to stalk any and every photo/blog you post. And I’ll be praying for your safety and that you’ll have a life-changing, amazing trip! 🙂
    All my hugs,

  3. Oh Kendall we are going to miss y’all terribly at our annual fab gathering but I know y’all will be having a grand adventure!! I can’t wait to hear all about it…don’t leave anything out!! I love you dear one !!

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