Now that I don’t have to worry about studying any more, I can finally concentrate on getting my travel plans together! This is exciting and slightly nerve-wrecking at the same time. As much as I want to be spontaneous and adventurous, even finding people that will host me as couchsurfer appears to be harder than expected. In the past couple of days I must’ve sent off about 30 requests in different cities and looked up different travel routes. By now, I am looking more favorably upon the youth hostel option; at least you have a bed for sure there, and they are not that expensive either. The nice thing is that other than my arrival in Verona and departure in Budapest, I have all liberty of deciding where to go. And what a good thing; I might not find a bed (either by couchsurfer or hostel) in Verona, since it seems to be a city for lovers and there are plenty of B&B’s with double rooms, but only one youth hostel that is already booked out. Sigh. Maybe I’ll sleep in Padua then… I have learned to be very flexible with my plans. Also because I just discovered that the only direct connection between Venice and Ljubljana arrives in Ljubljana at 1.14 in the morning! Not something I want to do as a single traveller…. So maybe I’ll take the convoluted way by Austria and just enjoy travelling that much longer (which would mean that I need to find a bed in Venice though…) I am just glad for the internet – I cannot even imagine finding all of this out on the road and having to adapt instantaneously…
But for the second part of the post – I got gear! After wandering around hours in Montreal I finally found the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and was so glad that I did! The staff is amazingly helpful and the prices are top. Look what I got:
The MEC Brio 60 backpack was the one I finally settled on with the help of the very friendly vendor. It is a very simple model, but online reviewers rave about the sturdiness and the value for money. The top is detachable and can be used as a pouch if you are going around the city; and it has a side-zipper that lets you access all of your belongings without taking everything out. Also, the couple of one of my favorite travel blogs, Sending Postcards, are using these backpacks on their round-the-world-trip, so I can’t really go wrong there, can I?
I also got some see-through pouches which will help me to organize my stuff; these were also widely advised by all travellers (yes, yes, I did my research). Also:
A money belt was one of my obligatory purchases, I would just feel weird carrying around my passport and valuables in my backpack just like that.
in case I get sick…
or thirsty. And best of all – it all added up to be just the value of the next most expensive backpack! Now I’m ready to explore the world… If I find a bed or two to nap in ;)