Whatever your perspective is, traveling overseas is a marvelous undertaking. Today I’m sharing my five big takeaways from hopping the pond, and why you should take the leap and travel abroad, too!
Know where to plan ahead…and where to let go. Without a doubt, there are several circumstances that are best to plan for. Before preparing to live in London for a season, one of the first arrangements I secured after booking my flight was housing. Especially in costly cities, advanced planning was the wisest decision I could have made – and it saved me a great deal of money. Arrive with general knowledge of what sites and spots you want to reach before it’s time to depart. However, at the same time, allow yourself to let go of some of your plans. Get lost on purpose. Wander to and from sites that capture your interest. Getting lost in London for an afternoon was one of my favorite afternoons of my entire trip. In short, do your homework, but then make time to meander.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Especially if you face a language barrier. In France, there were moments when my command of French would totally fail, which was so frustrating. But push through it. I can’t tell you how great of a feeling it is when that next conversation finally flows. When it comes to interacting with natives in general, go out of your way to meet them, speak to them, get to know them. There’s no better method of ingratiating yourself somewhere new than to interact with those who call it home.
Know your apps. Here’s a few you can use in many countries: Groupon (because yes, it’s international), Hopper for booking your flight, and Uber (because that’s also overseas, too!)
Pack snacks. This may sound odd, but I swear by this tip for any type of travel, near or far. When food can be the costliest commodity (because meals add up quickly), get in the habit of shopping for little bites that are easy to pack. They will keep your body fueled throughout the day, so you’re ready to make the most of every moment of your adventure. Of course, you must also indulge in the dishes and delicacies of your destination – but in moderation.
There’s no better method of ingratiating yourself somewhere new than to interact with those who call it home.
Keep your eyes up. In our Insta-obsessed culture, we live by the adage, “If you didn’t record it, it never happened.” Yes, take that picture under the Eiffel Tower. But remember to live in the moment. Do you really need to take a shot of every meal? Nein. Blog, journal, take some pictures, do what suits you to remember the wonderful sites sounds and smells of your adventures. But don’t get lost in an endless pursuit of showing off every little detail to your friends and followers. You never know what you’ll miss if you don’t pay attention.
Taylor recently moved from her hometown in Maryland to North Carolina, pursuing her writing professionally and personally. She loves to spend her free time riding horses and currently lives in Raleigh.