Sadly, my last post was in January about the new year. I talked about how I was going to make 2016 a baller and so should you. So here it is, the first two months of the new year have been pretty successful so far. On January 21, 2016, I said goodbye to the people whom I grew close to over the course of five months. We cried it off and said ‘see ya later’ as we each went our own separate ways. It was pretty sucky, but it was time to close that chapter.
To make the transition a bit easier a few friends and I decided to travel for a bit. The trip began in Italy and ended in Spain! Italy was spent with a group and the rest of the eurotrip was spent with a friend. It was definitely an experience like none other.
I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you before redirecting you to the list of recommendations I’ve written. If you’re thinking of traveling abroad, there are some things you should consider.
Traveling with a friend? Learn HOW to travel.
- Communication is key- you’ve heard this one before. It’s critical to communicate your travel styles and priorities prior to going on the trip, preferably during the planning stages. One might like to go shopping while the other likes sight-seeing. One might like to party every night and the other might like to have a convo in a local dive bar. Discuss these things with your traveling companion and come to a compromise so both parties win.
- It’s okay to do your own thing- Resentment grows quickly when one is catering to the other. Avoid that but splitting up for a bit and doing your own thing. This gives you and your partner some space. It also allows you to gather your thoughts whilst exploring. That way, when you reunite, you’ll have a plethora of stories to share. My travel buddy and I did this every so often and it colored our world!
- Pick someone whose company you enjoy- Traveling is fun and when you travel with a partner, it could either add or take away from the fun. Choose someone who you enjoy being around, especially in the weirdest situations.
- Have a plan- Something I liked about my travel partner was that we would discuss the things we wanted to do and sights we wanted to see beforehand. Every night, we talked about the schedule for the next day and we executed (somewhat) our plan. This way, we had a schedule and we timed everything just right to see almost everything we wanted to.
- MOOLAH- This is a tough one. When it comes to your budget, discuss it beforehand. One might want to save the taxi fare and walk while the other wants to cab to places. The same goes for food. One might be a foodie and want to try everything while the other would rather buy food from the local market. Establish what you’re comfortable with and what your wallet allows you.
To be honest, I’ve never traveled alone but it sounds awesome. It’s definitely on my list of things to do while I’m a youngin (yeah, I still consider myself one and I will until I decide adulthood is for me). Traveling alone is something I’ll get back to you on once I try it out.
My personal reflections and advice about traveling
Traveling is something special. It gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself more and more each day. You discover your true colors and break a routine you’ve always been in. You face your fears (I know I definitely did). And most importantly you appreciate the present; we can get too caught up in our past and build our anxiety for the future. It helps you reevaluate the priorities in life.
It’s important to go somewhere you’ve never been before and really immerse yourself. Get to know the locals, meet people who are also traveling (I highly reccomend staying in hostels and doing the free walking tours for this one), step outside of your comfort zone and have new experiences! Understanding the historical value is also something very important to keep in mind. It sparks your imagination and, plus, knowing the fun facts of a place are always great for conversation starters (it adds intelligence to your conversation).
Traveling opens up the door to seeing how people live their lives around the world and gain a new perspective; this includes the music, politics, culture, language, FOOD, currency, nightlife and sporting events. Have conversations with people, have your mind blown. You know what this does? It introduces you to diversity and makes you a more compassionate person. Why? Because you’re eliminating all the biases you’ve built throughout your life.
Lastly, there’s one thing people keep asking… “but how did you afford a trip like that, aren’t you a jobless post-grad?” First off, you can travel and not hurt your pockets, you just have to do your research and do a little bit of budgeting. Secondly, why is money that one thing that controls our lives? Why? I don’t know, but it’s pretty sh**** if you ask me. Something important my dad taught me was, “money comes, money goes.” And it’s very true. One morning you can wake up with $100 in your account, the next you can wake up with $2.76 (yes, this has happened to me). Enjoy life. Every day is an adventure, it really is. Don’t let money stop you from seeing the world, just make it work. Experience is much more valuable than money.
And I’ll leave you with this, travel while you’re young and while you can. Especially in your 20’s because you’re still figuring sh** out. You’re building crucial habits and these habits follow you throughout your life. When you’re abroad, you’re learning your habits, good and bad. (Quick example: living abroad and traveling to Europe made me appreciate the value of water. Americans take it for granted, I know I did. How long does it take you to shower? 10 minutes? And do you leave the water during the duration of your shower? Yeah, well in some countries, they PRAY for rain to nourish the land. In some countries, people have to walk miles to dig out clean water. This brought awareness in my life- global climate change is real people!)
Your heart is wild, you’re yearning for new adventures and experiences that bring light to your life. You have the rest of your life to work, pay bills, be in a relationship, and have responsibilities, blah blah blah.When you’re older and eventually have grandkids, they’re going to want to hear stories. And traveling makes the best stories. Find a place you’ve been dying to go to, pick up a damn backpack (or a suitcase, whatever you prefer), get yourself a journal and GO! This was only the beginning of my wandering. I’m really looking forward to traveling more; I’m thinking that southeast Asia and south America are in the future plans!
Stay tuned to read about my next adventure!