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Europe: Western Cafťs, castles, architecture, art, wine, the Euro, gastronomy, letīs meet up, and pub crawls.! Oh oui, backpackers paradise...

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Old 04-09-2006, 09:07 AM   #1
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I've gotten so much out of reading your posts. Thanks to the creators of this site! Preparing for a six-week solo trip through Europe in June-mid July, and have a few questions. Well, really this is what I plan on doing and I need to know if it sounds crazy to those that have done this before.

Iíve been in Turkey for 3 months, working mostly while getting out and traveling alone a good deal also. I think the balance of being in one place (izmir) with traveling alone here has probably prepared me as much as anything for backpacking Europe. I think my main concern is being alone and causing myself problems with crappy gear. Iíve managed Turkey alone as a woman, so I think Iíll be fine in Europe. Iím banking on meeting people in hostels to go out with at night. I went out alone at night here a lot for the first month or so and was followed off the bus by a man, who grabbed me, I got away and ran like hell, another man was in the streets and he stopped the guy. Kind of a drag b/c now Iím too tense to go anywhere alone after sunset and finding people to go out with isnít a guarantee. Anyways, all that to say, I think Iím somewhat prepared for Europe but the gear is another issue, as is my slight inexperience

So my concerns are that I didnít prepare enough before leaving the states (this was a real last minute idea). I donít have a good bag. Iím using a black canvas rucksack right now that I got for $15 at the army surplus. Itís different than the one that JustinDT posted about. Similar straps, but smaller, square, and black (I know guys, bad idea. I knowÖbut I donít have enough money to buy a new one. Tpunk people in Europe at the time will see me coming and be like, Ďhey I read your post!í and laugh at my bleeding shoulders. You should buy me a drink for doing it anyway. At least the bagís not Army colors). I tend to lean heavily on the side of simplicity anyway, and the rucksack hasnít really caused me any problems other than a broken clasp thing, but I can still shut it. It doesnít have a lot of space so Iím just taking the basics. Iím going to store my other bag (full of winter clothes and books I donít want to part with) at the Munich airport. Do you think it would be safe to leave my laptop in my bag at the airport? I donít know whatís saferócarrying it around with me for six weeks, or leaving it at the airport. I donít think anyoneís going to look at a granola girl carrying a nasty bag and think, ďthereís one steal fromĒ but I could be wrong. I havenít had any theft issues in Turkey and I havenít really been watching my stuff all that well.

Iím pre-booking hostels since I am traveling alone and paranoid about being stuck on the streets without a place to stay at night.

Traveling with a eurorail youth flexipass (10 days, 2 months).

So, since Iím not close to an outdoors/travel store Iím trying to improvise on gear I might need but donít have. I donít have a money belt of any kind. Is this absolutely necessary? Is there any other method of protecting your money? Here I just keep my bag under my arm. It's a sling bag, so I usually just sling it around front when I'm in a crowd or something.

Any advice for my trip would be greatly appreciated. I hope to meet up with some of you this summer.

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Old 04-09-2006, 11:35 AM   #2
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You should post your itinerary in the ... "post your itinerary" board. Lots of us will be around Europe in June/July!

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Old 04-09-2006, 12:47 PM   #3
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The sling bag is probably safe as long as you keep it in front of you. I like money belts because of the peace of mind they afford. If you feel safe with the bag, go with it.
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