Going abroad has always been a dream of mine. I’ve had wanderlust since a little girl; always reading National Geographic, learning about countries on the other side of the world, and dreaming of a day when I could stand there, in person, and capture that moment. For years, I liked others’ Instagrams of their abroad travels going from one place to the next, jet-setting every weekend. So, last January, when I hopped on a plane, London bound, it was natural that my stomach was filled with butterflies, powered by nerves and excitement. However, as my semester flew by and I now sit here beginning my senior year, I can’t help but miss abroad and think about all the things I had wished I had known. So for those of you who have just arrived in your country, those of you who will be going in future semesters, and finally, those of you, like me, who just want to reminisce about your time spent abroad, this one’s for you. All the moments not captured on Snapchat or posted with the Valencia filter, you know, the “unsaid” things.
1. You Will Miss Home
Homesickness is inevitable. You may see pictures of your friends back home celebrating 21st birthdays, attending sporting events, or just having your favorite sandwich at your usual hangout spot. Obviously, being abroad is exciting. Traveling is amazing. And the opportunity is once in a lifetime. However, I’d be lying if there have not been moments that I wish I was experience something with my best friends or back at school. You will miss your family, your pets, and there will be moments where you may even shed a tear. However, that should not prevent you from going abroad. The happiness outweighs the sickness. And isn’t it so awesome that you have people and places back home that you miss so much.
2. Check Your Carry-on Size
Trust me on this one, just because a company advertises it as a carry-on suitcase, it does not mean that it is one. Read the fine print and make sure that your suitcase fits that bin. Your you could be like me, throwing layers and layers of clothes on to avoid that 50 euro baggage fee. Every euro counts when abroad, and that is not where you want it going.
3. Money Goes Fast
You look at everyone’s pictures abroad and think how are they doing all this? Well, trust me, there are places to save money and cheap flights to jetset across Europe. HOWEVER, no matter how money-savy you may be, be sure to budget and save, save, save before you go. You are not going to want to say no when your friends ask you to go somewhere. Trust me, fomo exists here, too.
4. It’s Not Always Glamorous
5. Pictures Don’t Do It Justice
So this is why you have to go. Just to open your eyes to the world and truly see how beautiful and vast it is. Every place I go, I fall in love all over again. My breathe is taken away and my Instagrams have not proved any place justice. To see the world at this age, with little cares, is once in a life time. It is amazing and everyone should do it.
So here you have it, just some things that are the ‘secrets’ of going abroad. The tales untold. The moments uncaptured. Yet, they are all part of the story. A story of a great adventure. To travel and to see is a gift, one that does not last forever. A luxury that if you have the opportunity to have, you should not give it up. Going Abroad is a dream, and I am so sad that I have woken up!