How to Prepare

When preparing for a major trip, coming to terms with reality can be a fickle thing. It only really began to hit me as I packed my final belongings into my hiking backpack. I’ve got everything that I need for three months abroad in my pack, I hope. It’s really amazing how much you can do prepare for a trip, and still never feel comfortable when it comes time to leave. I spent hours budgeting to make sure that I had enough money for the trip, but I’ll never know if it’s enough until I spend it. You can say goodbye to everyone you know, but you can never understand how much you will miss them, and how to deal with homesickness. You can study language for months with duolingo like I did, but it will never prepare you for your first experience in a grocery store with a cashier that only speaks French.

I guess that at some point I realized that I would never be prepared, and maybe that is the best advice I can give. No traveller is ever prepared, if they are being completely honest with themselves because nothing can prepare you for travel except for traveling itself. It might take awhile, but with every inconvenience and uncomfortable experience, I learned to trust myself and to become more confident in my decisions abroad.