“Don’t Be an Idiot.”

One day. That’s it. There is one day until Hilary and I leave on our European adventure. We will leave my house in Phillipsburg, NJ for Newark Airport around 9:30am tomorrow. By 11:30pm (Iceland time) we’ll be in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Talking to people about this trip has been one of the best parts of this experience thus far. I have received some great advice and awesome suggestions for things to do along the way. My favorite piece of advice was from my friend Shanna who told me, “Don’t be an idiot.” This brings me to my top three trip goals:

1. Try new things & expand boundaries– food, experiences, friends, etc

2. Learn some things about culture, history, humanity

3. Don’t be an idiot

I think those are realistic and attainable goals (all of my former coaches would be proud). My backpack is (over)loaded and ready to go. I’m going to do one last check of everything today to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything essential. I’m also hoping I can reorganize it to make some space for all of the chocolate gifts for other people that I’m going to buy in Europe. This is what it currently looks like:

It actually doesn't look that bad from this angle..

It actually doesn’t look that bad from this angle..

It appears to be a little front heavy

But it appears to be a little front-heavy

OH! I meant to tell everyone that we started an Instagram account for this trip too. Click that link if you want to follow along!

A huge pre-trip thank you to:

My parents for not freaking out and always supporting me even when they fear for my life

-My favorite (only) sister, Steph and her boyfriend, Fred, for the backpack that will be my life and for half of the stuff I’m stuffing in it

Abbey and Brent for the other half of the stuff in my backpack and the moral/mental support that’s gotten me through to this point

Brandon and Andrew for unknowingly giving me full access to their American Express card (can’t wait to buy a yacht!!!!)

Jen for the journal I will be writing in throughout my travels

Hilary’s parents for their unexpected and amazing gift

-All of the friends/family/random people that have contacted me and have said the sweetest/most encouraging things

You for caring enough to read this

-and Hilary for being crazy enough to do this with me

-a very anxious and excited Jess

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