Thoughts on France

I've been back from France for a week now. I can't believe we've been home for a week already but it's been that long.Looking back on our time there it seems so long ago already. As always, I miss the feel of travelling, not working, being in a new place, exploring every nook and cranny to see what surprises await.France was no different. We only spent time in Paris and Marseille and I know we missed out a lot of the French countryside, mountains and other places but there's only so much you can do in 2 weeks. We've already said we'll go back sometime soon to visit another part of Europe and make a quick stop in Paris.Things I Took to FranceI wanted to put up the list of things that I took to France because that's one of the first things I look for when I go somewhere. I want to know what people take when they travel and whether they use them or not.T1i Camera, 18-200mm lens, 50mm lens, 3 SD cards, T1i Charger, SD1100 Camera, SD1100 Charger, 1 SD cards for SD1100Mini laptop, laptop power cord, small hard drive, Phone cable, Phone charging cord, Power ConverterClothing

  • 1 white Puma shoes
  • 1 pair dark blue Jeans
  • 1 pair black jeans, black dress shoes
  • blue collared shirt
  • white plaid collared shirt
  • green collared shirt
  • brown t shirt
  • green shorts
  • 3 pair black socks
  • 1 pair short white socks
  • black rain jacket
  • merino sweater with collar
  • 4 pair of boxers
  • flip flops

Documents

  • maps on iPhone
  • paper directions to hotels
  • passport
  • drivers licence
  • 2 visa cards
  • paper copy of passport
  • paper copy of drivers licence
  • paper copy of birth certificate

Luggage

  • 1 medium size suit case
  • 1 brown leather messenger bag
  • 1 small overnight/carry-on bag

$200 Euros in cashMoleskin notebook and pen to write for journalConlin Angus book to readFrench phrase book2 paris Lonely Planet Paris booksPurchased in FranceI bought one white collared shirt, biege shorts and 4 pairs white socks while I was there.Why I took all this stuffLuggage: Initally, I was trying to pack as light as possible and it was going well. Then I started thinking about how it's only 2 weeks in another big city not travelling a ton and got lazy. I ended up taking a medium sized wheeled suitcase and a small carry on bag for my luggage. I had the messenger bag back in my suitcase just for a walking around during the day in Paris and Marseille. I really only used it to hold my camera and a bottle of water and maybe a sweater if it was cooler (which it was not the entire time).Clothes: When I was looking into France and Paris last year, I was thinking it was going to be 26 degrees when we were there. That's pretty toasty for me and my girlfriend. It's grab a beer and sit on the lake kind of weather. We had mostly packed for 12-14 degree kind of weather, hence the pants and shoes. I assumed I was going to spend the whole time in jeans and a collared shirt. I ended up wearing shorts most of the time because of the heat. I ended up buying more white sucks since they go better with shorts and my white shoes and I only had 1 pair. I bought another pair of shorts as well to change things up. Funny thing was that they were almost identical to the ones I had from Canada.Electronics: We could have brought one camera but either my girlfriend or I wouldn't be able to take photos so we brought my T1i DSLR and a small Canon point and shoot. Most of our photos were from the T1i but there were still a bunch of good ones from the small one. The computer and hard drive were to store the photos and to back them up. I shot most of the photos in raw and ended up with 50 gigs of photos. I'm working my way through them and you'll see them up on my Flickr stream as I pick out the good ones. Our iPhones were pretty useful even though we didn't use them to call anyone. We could still use the WiFi and the offline map apps to find places and get information if we needed it on the go. We tried to unlock them before we left so we could use a local sim card but they are still locked into a plan. Damn cell companies.Others: I wanted to write in my journal every day on the trip. Even if it was just a quick note about what we did that day, I wanted to get something down to remember everything later. I think back to what I can remember to the trip to Australia I did 8 years ago and I can't remember much. Even the photos don't really jog my memory. We were doing so much in Paris, it was hard to keep up. It's definitely something you have to keep on top of. I almost caught up when we went to Marseilles because there was less to do but I still have to write a few more things.We knew most of the places we wanted to see before we got to Paris but like most trips other things come or you just have a bit of extra time to fill. The Lonely Planet books are excellent for finding lodging and restaurants. I like to use them most for finding the touristy places to see. You may not be able to find a brochure in the hotel or hostel or a good website but the Lonely Planet guides are likely to have most places listed.I'm already itching to get out on another trip and see more of Europe. There are so many places to see, a few places in  in Asia and South America  have caught my eye. Time to start planning!Comments: Want to know why I brought something or how useful it was in Paris or Marseille? Let me know in the comments and I'll respond as soon as I can. You can also email me at ross.collicutt (at) gmail (dot) com.