European Trip — What and How to Pack (or Unpack)

In September and October, 2016, I spent six weeks backpacking through parts of Europe. Before I went, I watched several YouTube videos of people packing their bags — or simply describing what bags they were taking on similar. Boring but practical, I guess. This is my spin on the subject, so sit back, relax, and watch me be creative, not by packing, but by unpacking from my trip. To give you time to go to the kitchen, or bathroom, I edited it into two parts.

While the trip lasted exactly six weeks, I spend about 92 hours on planes, buses, trains, and cars (not counting local metros, trams, taxis, Ubers, etc.). I slept in 16 cities, stayed in a friend’s apartment, a cousin’s apartment, an AirBnB, a guesthouse, four hotels, and eight hostels. I don’t know how far I walked, but I ate very well, and still lost 21 lbs.

When I would tell people about my plans, they would often ask if I was going alone. I assured them that I was confident that there would already be people in Europe 🙂 and I was right. Over the course of my journey, I saw a cousin, and two old friends, hung out with two people that I met online, just before the trip, but also met seven Facebook friends that I’d communicated with, sometimes for a couple of years. There were several others that I wanted to see, but just wasn’t able to get to their cities, this trip.

OK, do you have your popcorn? Here are the movies!!! Photos to follow over the next few weeks.


Part 1

Part 2

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I have two reasons why I don’t use the safari jacket. No doubt, they can be very convenient, but they really make you stick out as a tourist and/or photographer. As a street shooter, very often, I am dependant on my ability to blend in and go relatively unnoticed by those around me. Further to that point, I don’t want to make myself an obvious target for pickpockets — and all those pockets become very difficult to protect.

The small backpack easily swings from my shoulders to my hand, in front of me, when I step onto a subway, or other public transportation, and it allows me to carry a sweater or rain jacket.

I did have one encounter with a pickpocket, when I will write about when I get to the article on Barcelona.

SJ Avery

Thanks Paul – I’m always curious about how other people pack.
The thing that I found was a life saver on my trip was a mophie juice pack (air) for my iphone. I slipped it on the phone every morning and when the phone ran out of juice, all I had to do was turn on the battery and it recharged. It never ran out, even on long days of snapping everything in sight. The disadvantage is that it makes your phone a bit bulkier, but the security was worth it,

Also loved my lightweight “safari vest” which gave me a lot of pockets when wandering around the city for a day (I hate to carry a bag/purse unless I absolutely need it.


A Puppy Trying To Keep His Eyes Open

Nothing to see here, folks — except Casper trying to keep his eyes open, but it’s only 20 seconds of your life, so take a look. 🙂

I just bought a Polaroid Cube+ camera to accompany the iPhone and Olympus OMD-EM10-ii on my pending trip to Europe. Hopefully, some combination ofthe three will allow me to create some interesting images to share with you, over the next 2-3 months.

By this time, next week, I’ll be in Paris, for four days. On the 18th, I fly to Bilbao and make a little triangle with Pamplona and San Sebastian, before heading across the north of Spain and down to Porto and Lisbon.

If there is anyone, along the way, who would like to grab coffee, do some people watching, or have their portrait made — no charge 🙂 –, please use the Contact Form, or message me on Facebook.

I’ll try to update my itinerary, as best I can, so you can follow along, if you wish.

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