Published in Babbel Magazine, November 19, 2018
Leaving home for the first time is daunting. Whether you want to backpack through Asia for six months, work a farm stay in the Austrian Alps, or just book a one-way ticket and see what happens, living abroad is a challenging, exciting and ultimately very rewarding experience.
I took my first international flight 10 years ago, and I’d like to consider myself something of an expert on the topic, as I’ve lived abroad for the last seven years on two different continents. So how do you prepare to travel abroad for a long period of time? Here are some of the most important things that I’ve learned:
You’re Going To Feel All The Feelings
As in life, there are highs and lows on the road, and when you’re far from home, you tend to feel things more intensely. Be prepared for both gut-wrenching loneliness (beer helps) and euphoric highs that make you want to punch the sky. The experiences you have now could shape you forever, so don’t be discouraged. Just feel your feelings!
Traveling Isn’t A Competition
It’s easy to get sucked into pissing contests with other travelers about who’s been on the road for the longest or who has been to the most countries. Avoid it. Not only is this kind of talk boring, it doesn’t really prove anything. Who are you traveling for, anyway? You or them?
Things Will Go Wrong At Least Once, Probably In An Expensive Way
If you’re lucky, it’ll just be something like missing a 13-hour international flight because it was at midnight and you thought it was for the next midnight, and then you have to shell out to catch another plane with a different airline (…not that I’m speaking from very personal experience or anything). But seriously, screw-ups like this happen to the best of us, and…
Need more distraction from your day? Click here to read more of my travel and adventure experiences.