Bon voyage! You're hopping on a plane and finally getting a new stamp in your passport. You packed your suitcase using all of the tips you could find on Pinterest, and even have some outfits planned so you can take the dreamiest pictures while exploring Paris. You'll spend an entire day traveling just to get to your destination, but you already know it'll be worth the layovers and eating airport food. Some of the best trips take you to the dreamiest faraway lands with the most beautiful beaches you've ever seen. The first time traveling abroad, you'll probably be a bit in awe of the places on this planet, in addition to a few other things.
The world is your oyster, and there are always going to be so many sights to see. Maybe you're headed to Europe for a semester abroad, or spending a week or so exploring the waterfalls and city lights of Thailand. Either way, you've signed yourself up for a one-of-a-kind adventure that will be so different from any experience you've had at home. After all, there's only one Eiffel Tower, and you plan on taking the elevator straight to the top.
You might be a bit nervous, or beyond excited to finally travel abroad. These six things will be too true if it's your first time.
1. You'll Feel The Jet Lag
Jet lag is such a struggle any time you travel to a different time zone. But if you're traveling abroad for the first time, you'll likely experience it more than ever before. Sure, when you hit up the West Coast for spring break last year there was some adjusting to do. You spent some time sleeping in the back of a camper van in between seeing the best spots along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Nothing quite compares to jumping ahead a full day after landing in Australia, though. You'll want to hit snooze in the middle of the afternoon, but getting onto the local schedule is so necessary. Lucky for you, so many places around the world have a rich coffee culture. A shot of espresso or a cappuccino at an outdoor café in Sydney will be the best pick-me-up.
2. You'll Realize What Matters Most
Nothing puts your problems into perspective more than traveling abroad. When your world becomes so much bigger, there are some things that seem so insignificant. Waiting a few extra minutes for your cup of coffee at your local cafe, or missing your train and starting your day with a bit of a delay are just parts of life's adventure. Even that drama you had with your bestie before you boarded the plane feels so irrelevant now.
Truth is, your heart and mind have been opened up to all the opportunity that's out there. You see people who are making the most of every situation, and living their lives differently than your own. You realize that you're just one really rad person on this planet, and have the ability to inspire so many others. You also realize you should probably leave some of the smaller worries behind.
3. You'll Feel Recharged
Inspiration is everywhere when you travel. From the second you hop on the plane, you'll be daydreaming about what's next and the sights you'll see. Experiencing them first-hand will truly put your soul in awe. You'll look at the mosaics of Barcelona and beautiful waters of the Greek islands, and will feel so alive. Especially if adulting has felt a little rough lately, the first time you travel abroad will be a great way to recharge.
Maybe you're unsure of what you're passionate about, or even the sort of life you want to live. Traveling can be an amazing way to help you figure out some of those answers, and you'll likely be overwhelmed by what you may discover about yourself. Whatever's next, you're ready for it.
4. You'll Get Homesick
Especially if you're studying abroad and spending the entire semester away from home, you're bound to get a little homesick. Other cultures and countries are filled with new things to explore, but sometimes, you just want your own bed. If you're headed to Europe, you'll probably miss peanut butter and will use Nutella instead on multiple occasions.
It's not that you don't love this new place and all of the adventures you've had so far. You're just finding that there are some things you've taken for granted, and now appreciate them with a whole new light. Seriously, don't even get me started on how often we take advantage of some quality Wi-Fi.
5. You'll Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Saying "yes" to almost every new adventure when you're first traveling abroad is a must. If you're not totally comfortable or have a gut feeling that something might be not-so good, then for sure follow your intuition. But if you have the chance to order some snails at the restaurant by the Louvre, I sure hope you do. When else will you ever have that experience again?
Getting out of your comfort zone is just another part of the adventure. You'll go on hikes through the cliffs of Cinque Terre, and get up close and personal with the most stunning elephants in the jungles of Chiang Mai. It doesn't always have to come with an adrenaline rush — just a few pictures so you can say it happened.
6. You'll Have So Much Wanderlust
Wanderlust is such a beautiful struggle. It's the constant need to follow your feet and see the world. Not to mention, once you start traveling, it's a feeling you'll always have no matter how often you hop on planes.
The first time you travel abroad, you'll be stoked to see the cities and coastlines you've daydreamed about for yourself. You spent hours scrolling endlessly through Tumblr, but it's so different when those images are taken off the screen and placed right in front of you. You'll get a slight adrenaline rush from every attraction, and want to chase that feeling until your bank account is empty. This may be the first time you travel abroad, but it most definitely won't be the last.