Travel Blogging in Belgium and Paris

I’m going to Europe! Josh and I get on our plane and finally have our grand adventure we have been planning for YEARS. I’m still kind of in disbelief. I got the suitcases down from the attic last night, and it’s starting to seem real. 
I know this blog is usually focused on healthy recipes, fitness, and personal growth, but it’s also a little about my life! Part of personal growth is making time for the things and people you love. So I want to temporarily turn this into a bit of a travel blog. 
Planning The Trip
I’m a planner. I love planning, organizing, making schedules, making lists, brainstorming, etc. It’s the best. Preparation can be really fun since it is all part of the excitement. Kind of like Christmas season leading up to the actual holiday. Here’s how the planning has gone so far…
Tour Group or Solo?
We aren’t doing any sort of tour. It’s all arranged by us and planned by us. This kind of travel isn’t for everyone. Some need a set itinerary with arrangements made for them. It’s easier, more relaxing. However, you have less freedom than planning it yourself. And you may be shoved into a bus with a bunch of strangers for your entire trip. (Could be your next best friends, could be the most annoying people you’ll ever meet.) pros and cons to both. I LOVE planning my own travel and doing things off the cuff. So no group tour for us. 
If you’re doing it on your own, start well ahead and buy a multi-part folder envelope. 
This is how you stay organized. Put all of your tickets, maps, arrangement, bookings, etc. in this one folder. Arrange it in rough chronological order, or in any other way where you can readily find stuff when you need it. 
Packing

The most important part of the planning process, right ladies? I’m a list maker. I have a written list but have also been using Wunderlist, a free app, for my lists lately. 

This list stretches on… It is likely to be way too much clothing. I’m planning on laying it out on the bed, and counting my outfits. I can probably take a pair of pants and a couple of the shirts out of the mix. My mother’s sage advice to “just take everything” only works if you’re driving. Weight and bag limits on flights unfortunately make decision necessary. Think basics in coordinating colors. I’m a black and white personal myself. 
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UPDATE: I ended up taking out a couple pairs of pants and adding in a few dresses. Dresses are easy for me. No thinking about matching! And you look put together when it’s really a lazier way to get dressed. It also had to do witting the following…
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Anticipate the Climate
As I check the weather on the Weather Channel’s 10 day forecast (always do this), I’m realizing that it’s going to be warmer than I originally thought. I may be able to take out a pair of flats in lieu of my flat sandals. The biggest thing to remember when packing for a trip to a metropolitan location (this would not apply to treks in Nepal or trips to the Amazon obviously) is that you can always buy something there if you need it. Try to anticipate the weather, but if a freak weather pattern arrives, you just ask the locals where to find cheap clothes or shoes. 
Cramming it all in:

Travel space bags are your best friend. Honestly, they don’t compress summer clothes that much space-wise, but they keep things from sliding around and make it easier to arrange/rearrange as you packs. If you’re traveling in winter, they are a MUST as they will squish the fluff and air out of your coats and sweaters to make it possible for you to fit it all in. 

And what is that orange thing?

That would be my jiu jitsu gi. One of the fun parts about being a Gracie Barra team member is getting to drop in on schools all over the world. We are all planning to roll with the GB in Anderlecht, outside of Brussels, as well as GB Paris. It makes traveling all that more fun as we are part of this huge community and meet others wherever we go. 
And I put my belt in my carryon. I couldn’t let it out of my sight. Weird? Maybe. 

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