It was the end of August and the time to leave my home and head off was fast approaching. I hadn’t really planned anything, I just knew of a rough route and places in between I wanted to stop off at to make some adventures of my own. This is a short diary of my trip, the journeys I made and the places which will always stay with me.
With Smith the Roll Top (25L) on her back, photographer Samantha Saskia Dugon prefers to follow the longer route. In Italy for work, she drives her van back home through mainland Europe allowing her curiosity to lead the journey.
Photography & words by Samantha Saskia Dugon | @saskiadugon
Switzerland has come of the most stunning scenery you will ever come across, countless mountain passes and around every hairpin bend, you’re greeted to more beautiful views than the one before. On route to a classic car event situated on top of Bernina Pass I drove up and over the famous Furka Pass. There was some filming happening on the road so I had to pull in by Hotel Belvedere, an insta-famous sight. It’s heartbreaking to see countless renditions of the same place plastered all over our feeds when just behind you is a monumental glacier, the sound of which roars, or the view of the winding mountain pass up the beautifully jagged and detailed peaks.
One city I’ve utterly fallen for is Geneva. The culture, the atmosphere, the warmth, the individuality, make it feel like one of the most beautifully diverse cities in Europe. With so many opportunities from technology to fashion to sport, it really does have everything, which, for someone like me with too many hobbies and ideas to keep track of, means it never gets boring and is a city of endless inspiration.
France // Mont Cenis
On my travels down to Italy, I passed one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen; Mont Cenis. At the time we couldn’t stop long, but I vowed to myself that I had to return on my way home… and I’m glad I did. I spent a few days parked up in a lay-by to explore the mountains by bike. Once cycling around the lakeside I ventured deeper into the mountains and away from civilisation, where the gravel roads just seem to run on and on, seemingly into nowhere. I turned a corner and was met with a breathtaking mountainous backdrop so close it felt like I could just touch it. Playing around on my bike on a rockface, a group of walkers with an abundance of dogs arrived, they were running all around me as I cycled down a makeshift trail. It was safe to say, I was in absolute heaven!
Belgium // Antwerp
Antwerp holds a special place on my heart. Antwerp is a place where individualism and creativity thrives. Before I was due to head back to the UK I parked up next to the river in the centre of Antwerp for a few days and spent some time enjoying being a tourist. Throughout all of this, my Smith the Roll Pack was by my side, whether loaded up with cameras, laptop, clothes, helmets, riding gear, books, whatever I needed with me on one day, it all went into the Smith. It became one of my most multipurpose bags. I’ve got specific camera bags, riding bags, wedding photography bags, but my Millican? It dabbled in them all and handled it without a problem, whilst also being the perfect travelling bag.