I have seen a few types of posts like these on blogs before, most notably Retro Flame and her lessons learned in NYC. This is the beginning of this series for me which I hope to do after every big trip away I take. I’m just back from 3 weeks in Europe so now is as good a time as any to start!
#1 Patience Is A Virtue
It’s impossible to go away on a long trip and have absolutely everything go according to plan. Travelling involves a lot of Plan B’s and exploring other options for things because that bus you thought was going at 2 o’ clock? Yeah, that hasn’t run since 2011! Oh, you thought you could scan that E-Ticket? Sorry! You’re going to have to find somewhere after midnight with a printer! These situations will crop up when and how they please, so you just have to remember to be patient and realize that it will all work out in the end. And if it doesn’t? Well tough shit I guess!
#2 Experience Other Cultures
When you are away it’s important to explore and appreciate other cultures. On my last trip I think I didn’t like 8/10 dishes that I ordered and my boyfriend was curious as to why I was even ordering these things when I kept not liking them – but for me half of the fun was trying these new things! (The one time I thought I was playing it safe turned out to be the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted as well so that also says a lot!). Experiencing new cultures, talking to locals and getting out of your comfort zone is the only way you will ever get a true sense of the country you are in.
#3 Make Friends With Strangers
This is a must! There are nicer people out there than you could ever imagine. You’re on the road, they are on the road, everyone is just looking for a good time and some companionship! We got shown amazing hospitality from people of all nationalities and in almost every country we visited. Go on a hike with the people from your hostel dorm, talk to the person sitting next to you on the train, strike up conversation with the nice people on your tour – there is nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain. (But try trust your judgement!)
#4 You Can’t Do Everything
..so don’t beat yourself up about it! There are only so many hours in the day – you can’t be expected to fully explore a city starting at the crack of dawn and also explore it’s entire nightlife… till the crack of dawn! There are things you thought you wouldn’t get to see, and things you wanted to see that just didn’t work out. You can’t do everything. I mean I haven’t even fully explored the city that I grew up in let alone somewhere I am going to visit for a few days! Once you make a decent effort and seeing somewhere and create memories that’s the main thing – there is no point stretching yourself further than you’re able to go.
#5 Learn The Language
You don’t have to learn how to describe the colours of the rainbow in detail, but hello, please and thank you will take you a very long way! Especially in places like France where they find it somewhat of an insult if you don’t even attempt to say bonjour. Learning phrases like ‘table for two’ and ‘where is’ are great, but the basics are the best at the end of the day. When you are travelling it really is ignorance to think everyone will be able to speak or understand English so doing the groundwork will really pay off. Not great at
These are just some of the small things that I learned while I was away – but there are plenty more lessons out there for me to learn! What lessons have you learned while travelling?
This post was brought to you in conjunction with the wonderful Translation Services company Polilingua! Be sure to check out their website and the wonderful services which they provide!