I am not a decision maker. I never have been. Anytime my decision making skills come up in family conversation my father likes to tell about the times that we would go hiking for the day. We always started out at a local gas station where he would buy Pringles and beef jerky (now comfort food for me) and my sister and I were allowed to pick a juice.There are normally only about 5 juices at a gas station but I would stand there debating the benefits of each juice until my dad was starting check out, I would then bring up the juice and at the last second snatch it back and run and change apple for orange or vise versa. This happened almost every week. I would also take months and months -like six- to pick out exactly what toys I wanted to ask for for Christmas. I am probably the worst decision maker I know. I do so much research before coming to any conclusion (except on people- they seem all to easy to judge). So this trip has been a nightmare on elm street process that has probably been very good for me. Huge decisions like going to Europe for 6 months- not so bad for me, but deciding where to stay, what to pack, how to pack, what clothing to take, what I want to see, how long to stay…. (the list goes on and on… trust me) needless to say it has been very frustrating. So let me express some of these too you so that if you go to Europe a heart attack not part of the vacation package.
First where to go: well that should be easy- go where you want to most. Not so easy: when and for how long. Most of Europe is kind of like the United States with each country being a “state”. This is called the Schengen Union. See a link below for more detail. You can only stay in these countries for 90 days without special permission. I wanted to go for longer than that so thankfully the UK is not apart of this “union”. So I started my trip in England. But then how long to stay there… you get the point. It has been very difficult to decide all of this and the only tip I can give you right now, before I have gone, is don’t worry as much about it as I have- there is no way to see it all no matter what you do.
Second: Where to stay. I needed to stay on a budget. There is no way I could stay in a hotel for 6 months. So I calculated my rent and divided by 30 and told myself to try to stay under that price point every day. The only way I found to do that wasn’t hostels- though you could- I don’t hold much by them. Instead I took to airbnb and the like (there are many websites- holidaylettings, house trip etc). Word of warning. You need to give yourself plenty of time with airbnb. People can refuse your stay unlike a hotel. And if you wait too long places get booked, if you try to plan too far in advance people will decline you stay because they don’t know there plans. So I have put probably 30-40 hours so far trying to find accommodations fitting my needs. It is been very very frustrating. So if a budget is your concern be prepared.
Gear: I will do a whole post about this later with what I have learned online. I wish there was an site that took all the reviews from other blogs and just told you their opinion based on what they had learned. Alas there is not and so I was stuck reading a ton of information on what I should take with me. I have decided (crazily so) to go with just a carry on. So no- this will sadly not be a fashion blog as I need to be practical.
There is so much more I need to say. I want to say about being prepared for the decision making- there is a ton!!! But I suppose at the end of the day there are only a few decisions you really need to make.
Decide to do it and do it today!
Decide to look forward to it and be happy and excited.
Decide to not let decisions be your terrible horrible no good very bad day things and instead think of it as an adventure story where every decision leads you further along on a trilling path.
Basically decide: and decide to have fun with it! If you can.
1.Follow your heart and your head. Do what feels right and sounds logical. Trust in God if you believe in him, if you don’t trust in your gut (I believe God resides there too).
2. Know your limits (budget, mental, physical, etc.)
3. Remember who you are and who you want to become. Every day can change you. Every event can mold you to be someone new but too much and you could crack. When planning a trip or life changing event remember who you are and make most of that change still with you in it. If you need down time- plan for it. If you need to constantly be active plan for that- but do not plan for constant activity if you need time to recoup – you get the idea Still push yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally. KNOW YOURSELF and KNOW YOUR FUTURE.
I hope and pray that some of this may help one of you eventually- but if not- it helps me to remember these things as well and to practice what I preach. Wish for me no more terrible, horrible no good very bad decision days!
Love you guys,