So you have everything planned: you may have gained a job, booked flights, decided a plan of action, obtained your visas and you are ready to go. Then suddenly it hits you: you are actually going, you may become nervous, anxious, excited and experience a whole number of different emotions. Of course you are going to have mixed emotions; you are about to undertake the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to a different country, a completely different place, where you may not know anyone at all.
It’s perfectly normal to be feeling like this; travelling and leaving home is a big step (maybe even bigger than moving away to University or moving out of home). Not having the comfort factor that your parents or family can drive and get you if you need them can be a scary prospect for some people. Being alone in a country where you don’t know anyone, and you can’t even speak the language, can be daunting. Travelling is a scary thing to do as you can never predict what’s going to happen: you can make plans for your trips, but you will never stick to them. Things will happen which scare you and you will find yourself in situations which you aren’t comfortable with. You can never tell what’s going to happen, but you can prepare for different situations and do your research. Before travelling I would set aside a small amount of time to research the place or places in which you are travelling to. What are the customs/traditions? Where are the places you should avoid? Is it safe to carry personal items or should you keep them hidden? All this research will help you to understand what you need to prepare for. Perhaps you’ll read something which helps you to get out of a situation; you will be grateful that you did some research. Knowledge is key.
Travelling is exciting and you should be happy and looking forward to your trip: it will be unforgettable. Yes you will miss your friends and family, but with social media, wifi and smart phones it’s so easy to communicate no matter where you are. Sending that snapchat from your beach villa or video calling your family whilst skydiving (yes I have seen a video of it) gives your loved ones a way to experience what you are doing.
Whilst travelling you will meet a large number of people all in the same position as you are: they will have left home, embarked on an adventure and will sometimes feel lonely. These shared experiences will give you mutual things to talk about. I find that making friends whilst travelling is easier than making friends in a normal situation mainly due to the fact that everyone is in the same position: no one else knows anyone and you can relate to others easily as they are going through or have been through the same things as you.
It’s okay to have a mixed emotions before travelling just as it’s okay to have doubts about going, but I believe life is for living; would you regret not taking the chance to go? How do you know what it will be like if you don’t try? The worst thing you could do is to not take an adventure because you are scared of what may happen. You take risks everyday without even realising: getting in a car, walking and even just getting out of bed; anything could happen to you at anytime. Life is for living: you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or around the corner. You also don’t know what’s going to happen if you go travelling, what opportunities it may bring, who you may meet, what you may learn.
In life you only regret the chances you didn’t take!