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How We Packed for a Year in Europe

how we packed for a year-long trip to europe// helpful video with lots of travel tips

We have had lots of people asking how we packed for a year-long trip to Europe.  The short answer is: we each took one pack and one smaller bag, and we did lots of research on what to put in them.

The long answer… well, I could talk for about five minutes just on how we arranged our bags. Which I did. In this video.


Making Sussmost in Switzerland

When it comes to beverages, I’m a pretty plain Jane kind of girl. Much to Tyler’s disappointment I think. He loves his snobby coffees and his craft beers. He is always reading up on the newest producers and types of production. He is in the know when it comes to drinks.

I, on the other hand, drink just water and tea. And maayyybe a Long Island Iced Tea if I’m feeling wild like I want to drink socially. (And yes, I know that’s made with coke. That’s why I ask them to make it with tea! Yes, I do. I ask the bartender.) But on the odd chance I’m in a hotel and I’m feeling the need to #getmymoneysworth, I will drink apple juice with breakfast. It’s something I suffer through, like eating yogurt. It’s good for me. So I drink it once or twice a year.

But sussmost.. this is an entirely different kind of apple juice. It may actually be similar to all those nasty cold ciders people drink, but something about knowing where the apples are picked and seeing the machines my family uses to press them… it just makes the drink so refreshing and delicious. Under the umbrella of apfelsaft (apple juice), süßmost is the sweet child, with apfelwein at the sour other end, and ghürotne right in the middle.

/ˈzyːs moːʃt/
– unfermented apple juice or cider
– English spelling: sussmost

I’ve grown up seeing the sussmost presses in my family’s barn, and I’ve drunk the sweet cider every summer I’ve been in Switzerland. Once when I was younger, we were there at just the right time to help sell it from the street booth at the end of the season. This year, Tyler and I were lucky enough to help prepare the sussmost for our family reunion. We helped pick apples from a few different orchards, wash the apples in the outdoor trough, cut out the bruised spots (fun fact: we only use apples that have already fallen to the ground), and then grind and press the apples in the truly antique machine.

And we got to bike everywhere with a cute apple cart! Totally felt like mini farmers. Loved it. Hope you love the video of it 🙂

Hunzenschwil in iPhone Photos

Our first few weeks in Europe were a whirlwind of family and friends and more family. We visited several towns in three different countries, and didn’t stay in one place longer than five nights. But despite the hectic pace, we so appreciated the chance to get reacquainted with many relatives and family friends.

We didn’t do much photo-taking during these weeks, but we snapped some on our phones as the days flew by. iPhone is better than nothing, right? #memoriesmemoriesmemories

Here’s the first installment– Hunzenschwil, Switzerland:


^^^ i have memories of visiting this home every time i’ve gone back to switzerland, and it was fun to introduce tyler to the classic old swiss house and charming garden. and that campervan? it was our home for the week and we loved it!

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^^^ we got to help make süssmost (swiss apple cider) and we’ll be giving you a closer look at that later this week. we picked, cut, ground, and pressed local apples and then got to enjoy this sweet drink at our family reunion.

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^^^ a lot of the apple work happened on the family farm, where i have even more childhood memories. the reunion was also hosted here, where we had all day to go on walks, sit around the pool, or explore all the fascinating cows! haha

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^^^ the reunion was a great time to connect with distant family members, although our lack of swiss german really got in the way of many potential conversations. but there was nothing in the way of us enjoying italian risotto, loads of traditional swiss salads, and our very own süssmost! and p.s. all the sunflower decorations came from the farm #amazing #howdotheydoit


^^^ finished off the time with our family by having fondue around the big stone table in the garden. you could chronicle my childhood– and in fact lots of family history predating me!– by looking at photos of people enjoying meals around this very table. that’s a real sign of a truly hospitable home. a gathering place for love and family.

The Murphmans Fly to Europe!

And… we’re here! (London, that is.) After several weeks of constant travel–which you can always follow along real-time via Instagram and Snapchat!–we are semi-settled in one place and back to blogging. We have lots of stories to share and are working on new ways to share them.

This week we’ll be trying to play catch up so we’re dumping a lot of posts at once. And you’re even getting the pleasure of multiple videos 🙂 Hope you don’t mind! We’re always working on improving those random videos, but as Tyler has been pushing me.. “finished is more important than perfect!”

This video is a condensed look at our flight(s) to Europe. The trip was relatively uneventful, even with a couple delays thrown in there. We were caught in the middle of being immensely excited and in a surreal fog. The departure from Philadelphia was a rush of goodbyes and catching trains and realizing we had to check the bags we’d planned to carry on. We didn’t end up loving our experience with Iceland Air, and probably won’t fly with them again, but we had plenty of chocolate and granola bars to keep us happy. And 16+ hours later, we made it safe and sound, with our own little camper van in the garden to make our home.

featured photo from modern hepburn