PERSONAL // 21 days until Europe

I am guessing you just read the title of this post. Now that I’ve actually posted this, it’s only 20 days… but I digress. You read it right, less than 3 weeks until I fly to Europe.

I have already watched two of my friends pack a bunch of their favourite clothes, their essential toiletries and the usual medications (panadol, travel sickness etc) into one backpack and catch their flights overseas to enjoy the European summer.

Soon, another few of my friends will undertake the same ritual of packing all their favourites into one bag and taking off to explore the other side of the world. But not before I must!

So, I’m really going to Europe. On exchange. I’ll be living overseas for 6 months.

With regard to the administrative side of exchange, I’m pretty set. I have filled out the relevant forms. I’ve applied for my Italian visa. My passport is up to date. I have my accommodation sorted.

Now comes the dreaded task – packing clothes to last me 6 months in Europe. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love clothes. However with this love, comes a love for shopping… and over the years, I have accumulated a large collection of fabulous/wild/wonderful pieces. This is why it is so difficult to pack.

Packing for Europe

There is so much I want to take, but obviously I only have one bag… and who knows, there may be clothes I want to buy over there. So, I’ve been doing a little research. I have found a few good sites with comprehensive packing lists (aka this great list and this one for long term travel and finally this one which probably has a little more than I’d like to take but is still useful).

My friend also recently linked me this great article written by Zoe Foster Blake (does anyone else have a #girlcrush on her?!). I 100% agree with finding your own style and immersing yourself in the country you are going to. I guess I’ll just have to paw through the Lonely Planet Guide to Italy that I picked up at the library… poor me (just kidding, of course!).

You must be wondering, what is she going to pack?! I’m not entirely sure yet, and it’s a work in progress, but here is a rough draft of my packing list at the moment:

Anika’s ‘what I think I’ll bring to wear for 6 months in Europe’ list


  • Three t-shirts (a white, a grey and a khaki green)
  • Two shirts (a white linen shirt and an embroidered floral shirt-dress)
  • Two long-sleeved tops (for the colder months)
  • Three dresses (one for going out and two casual)
  • A skirt (I have realised I don’t tend to wear many skirts, but maybe it’ll change once I’m over in Europe!)
  • Two pairs of shorts (1 x denim and 1 x fun)
  • Two pairs of pants (my linen pants and my funky ¾ flowy pants I bought in Japan)
  • Two pairs of jeans (1 x black, 1 x blue)
  • Work-out gear (tights and an exercise top)
  • A comfy outfit (leggings and a jumper)
  • A jumper or two (1 x good-lookin’ one and 1 x comfy/warm one???)
  • My beloved puffer jacket
  • The relevant underwear (of course)


  • A funky pair of earrings
  • A scarf


  • My sneakers (my Nike free runs)
  • A pair of low-heeled black boots
  • My black Birkenstocks (the standard Arizona style – they are soo comfy)
  • Thongs (wouldn’t be an Aussie if I didn’t bring my thongs)
  • (Maybe a pair of summer sandals? What do you all think?)


Let me know if I have missed anything or whether you think there is anything you would add… although I’m sure I’ll add to it as the days pass and I remember more 🙂


I hope you all have a great week.


Affectionately Yours,

Anika x



After some full-on weeks of study, R (my adventure partner x s/o) and I spent a weekend away visiting the Hunter Valley region. This is a solid drive from Canberra (about 4 hours) so we decided to break up the trip with a pit-stop in Bowral, a lovely town in the Southern Highlands, NSW.

Even if you have only just come across my blog and read through a post or two, you probably realise how much I love brunch. With this deep love comes the need to scope out the latest and greatest cafes, which is why I have had my eye on The Press Shop for quite some time now.


This café is a must for those who love aesthetically pleasing surroundings. There are brick walls, painted white. There are large windows, letting in all the natural light your heart desires. There is a hint of greenery on every table. And the coffee… it was A+.

Sidenote: I wish I had taken a photo of the entrance because it is absolutely gorgeous, but I guess you’ll have to go there and see for yourself!


Not only does this cafe serve great coffee and delicious food (I had the vegetable breakky wrap which I can highly recommend), but you can also pick up some trendy stationery (including Kate Spade – drool) or a handmade card or two from Bespoke Letterpress.

In fact, I realised that I had previously bought a few Bespoke Letterpress birthday cards for various people from Harry Hartog Bookseller. What a coinkydink.

As mentioned on The Press Shop’s website, ‘our space is an accumulation of our design studio, print studio, letterpress stationery store and café all contained within the one beautiful space’… and really, it does not disappoint.
After you have had your fill of coffee and nibbles, walk down the street past the beautiful boutiques towards Green Lane. As you walk through the gates at Green Lane, you are greeted by greenery billowing out of The Orangery, part of The Potting Shed. There are many glorious plants for sale (cacti, succulents – you name it), alongside beautiful vintage pots and all the accessories a gardener could imagine.


When you continue down the lane, you find yourself in a courtyard – a courtyard in which dreams are made of. There is greenery everywhere, and so many places to explore. We ducked into Dirty Janes – an emporium full of all things vintage/antique. We could have spent hours here, wandering through the 75+ dealers in the incredibly large warehouse – but alas, we had places to be.

I left R at one of the stores to hunt through vinyls, and wandered through the rest of the warehouse, eyeing off all the vintage clothes and antiques on offer (including old designer jewellery, books and old cameras). Perhaps once I know more about film cameras, I’ll return and buy one of these beauties!


After I had covered most of the stores, and R most of the vinyls (see below for the happy vinyl collector), we decided to continue on our way… but that is a blog post for another time.



Affectionately Yours,

Anika x