After a less than relaxing summer full of summer school, nannying, farming, and cramming for the GRE (could have been fuller of the latter), it's time that we pack our bags and head yonder to Europe! Along with our clothes and personal items we have to leave ample space for our camping gear. We will be packing into two backpacking backpacks, literally living off our backs for the next two months. We've done a smart job of gearing up and paring down. We've acquired ultra light and compressible gear to save space and our backs as much as possible. We will be camping a lot, especially in the Mediterranean where it's very accessible. Camping is cheaper than alternatives, and, well, we enjoy it! There's even one campground in Paris. Who'd have thunk it?
In shoestring-ing our trip together, we've purchased flights for our inter-European travel to create the skeleton of an itinerary. It will be our full-time job to fill in the gaps! We have several friends who have spent time in Europe this summer and some contacts and hosts on the ground. We're looking forward to checking out some of their suggestions and exploring for ourselves as well. We also have our trusty copy of Lonely Planet's Europe on a Shoestring, which is chock full of some of the best deals in Europe. It will be helpful in getting oriented, but we hope to color outside the Lonely Planet lines.
In about 24 hours' time we will board our first flight en route to our first stop in Istanbul, Turkey. Expect colorful pictures and descriptions in the near future!