If you’ve ever dealt with our customer service or marketing team here at ioMerino, chances are you’ve spoken with Danella, part of our ioTeam in Australia. While her version of an adventure may be a little milder than some of our hard core adventurers, she still managed to put her ioMerino to the test during her recent trip to Europe. And has the story, and pictures, to prove it.

By Danella Smith, ioTeam

Unlike a lot of the adventures featured on the ioBlog, my recent trip to Europe was certainly no ultra-marathon or epic mountain climb. However, I was extremely lucky to spend six weeks travelling around such a beautiful part of the world, bumping into hidden gems and having one huge adventure of my own. (Even if sometimes the adventure was driving the wrong way for three and a half hours and ending up completely lost!). I was also lucky enough to get my hands on one of the brand new ioMerino Velocity Sports Jackets just as they arrived in stock, literally the day before I jumped on a plane to London. And boy, am I glad I did. Autumn is cold in Europe, especially when you’re standing almost 12,000 ft up the iconic Swiss Alps!

Some of you may know me as the girl behind customer service here at ioMerino. While I’m usually busy helping you guys out with sizing advice, exchanges and all of the usual customer service inquiries, I like to spend my downtime learning all there is to know about the amazing MicroMerino® performance layers we make, and apparently even planning trips to Europe! All jokes aside, I knew a few things about how to pack light and for a multitude of temperatures before going into this trip, but packing was still far from an easy task. This was going to be a trip where I’d be in temperatures anywhere from -3°C to 35°C so I was going to need beanies, bikinis, and everything in between!

While I didn’t physically climb any mountains, I did catch a train (that still counts, right?) to the top of Jungfraujoch in Switzerland – one of the highest points in Europe. My travel partner and I were so unprepared for this journey. We don’t get any snow here at ioMerino’s home turf in South Australia, so we really didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, we both had a number of ioMerino layers which helped keep us toasty warm up the top, but also comfy down the bottom (I’m talking about the mountain!). Despite it looking freezing in my pictures, it was actually quite a mild day, about 18°C, so I was really glad to be wearing gear that was so versatile – keeping me warm when I needed it and cool when I didn’t.

Our hotel reception was kind enough to lend us big down jackets to make sure we stayed warm in the subzero temperatures, and of course, the rest of my outfit was almost entirely ioMerino! I wore the Chaser Midweight Leggings as a base underneath the Stride Tracksuit Pants to retain warmth without restricting my movement. Up top, I layered the Vital Tank as my first layer, the Rapids V Neck Longsleeve as my second layer and the brand new Velocity Sports Jacket as my third layer. This kept me nice and warm, but also allowed breathability and movement! The only thing missing was a pair of gloves, but the Velocity Jacket’s handy thumb loops certainly helped keep my hands warm. Especially when I was throwing snow in the air. Or when I completely slipped over and landed on my… hands.

From one extreme to the other, after Switzerland I travelled south to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre – ‘Cinque’ meaning ‘five’ and ‘Terre’ meaning ‘lands’ in Italian. It’s literally five small villages on the rugged coast of the Italian Riveria, and it’s really, really beautiful. The best way to visit all of the villages is either by boat or foot. I was definitely keen to visit them all by foot as it’s a popular walking area with spectacular trails and coastal views, but unfortunately most of the trails are closed this time of year due to mudslide risks. The trail between Monterosso to Vernazza was open, so I still had the chance to at least experience some of it. The trail was actually relatively difficult (eating a diet of mainly pizza and pasta for weeks before probably didn’t help my ability!) and took around two hours to complete. In some sections it was extremely steep, but the coastal views were well worth it.

The day was forecasted for about 23°C so I knew I had to wear something light, yet still high performing as I would no doubt work up a sweat on the hike. The Ascender Tank was the perfect layer as it’s moisture wicking, temperature regulating and, perhaps most importantly, odour-resistant! Let me tell you, it wasn’t often I had the opportunity to wash clothes.

So while my trip wasn’t an epic physical defeat, by any means, it was a completely unforgettable journey in its own right. Autumn can be an unpredictable time of year anywhere in world, even more so when you’re visiting a range of altitudes and five separate countries. But hey, that’s all part of the adventure, and it gave me an awesome excuse to put some of the brand new ioMerino layers through their paces in extreme conditions!

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