People are always telling each other that travelling is the absolute best thing they can do. And in many ways, they’re right – it’s enriching, adventurous and somehow relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. However, it’s important not to be fooled by all the warm fuzzies. There are some realities of heading overseas that it pays to face up to before you hit the runway.
You may not instantly make friends – and that’s okay
While you’ll certainly encounter more than enough weird and wonderful strangers while you’re away, it’s not always easy to make the transition from ‘girl-from-my-tour-group’ to ‘potential-new-best-friend’. Our advice? Don’t force it. Be friendly, warm and inviting, but don’t freak out if you’re not collecting friends left, right and centre. Connections will come – just focus on the journey.
You will crave food from back home
One of the absolute best things about visiting a new country is indulging in its local cuisine. From pho in Vietnam to an authentic margherita pizza in Naples, these are the kinds of dishes you’ll dream about for years after you return home. Despite this abundance of interesting and tantalising food at your fingertips, sometimes you just want a little taste of home. For some people that involves seeking out garlic bread on a Thai menu, while others may find themselves ordering off the kids’ menu at a French restaurant. Whatever you do, don’t feel guilty about it – you can have a local meal tomorrow. Let your stomach lead the way.
The internet will become your best friend
Unless you’re looking for an escape from reality, you’ll probably find yourself turning to the internet to help solve every problem that’s thrown your way. This could be anything from translating your host’s native language through to finding directions to the nearest Western food joint when that burger craving just won’t quit. In these instances, your smartphone will be your guiding light. Just make sure it’s equipped with a TravelSIM to avoid any nasty roaming or data charges.
It’s not always picture-perfect, but that’s the beauty of it
When you picture your next big trip away, you’ll likely conjure up images of misty mountains, windswept rainforests or desolate beaches. Well, my friend, that’s just half the picture. What you don’t see is the hypothermia-inducing rain that comes with the mountains, the ranger that steals your travel documents in the rainforest and the three hour walk in forty degree heat to reach a patch of sand not yet tarnished by pollution. You’ve got to take the bad with the good, but do be prepared for some hiccups along the way. Embrace them and you’ll have an excellent story to tell at the end of it.