Preparing for an adventure: Travel tips!

I originally wrote this for my short-lived travel blog, but thought it could get more use on here instead. RIP Acrosstheworldinalifetime. This is my take on what I believe to be the best things you can do to mentally and physically prepare yourself for travel.

1.)  Embrace your flaws –  Perhaps an unpopular idea, but I'm serious. Let go of all your "imperfections." Eat ice cream on the daily and live in the moment. If you want to go without makeup for a day, do it. Be natural. Travel is the best cure for embracing your insecurities. You're a total stranger and free to re-invent yourself for a little while.

2.) Take care of yourself physically – If you create a regular work out routine and watch what you eat a bit before you head off, it can combat all the great food you'll be having on your trip. There's also plenty of ways to stay active while traveling. Go hiking, climbing or swimming. If you're in an urban setting, walk around the city. The best way to discover a new surrounding is jumping right into it. 

3.) Be OPEN – Embrace new people, cultures, food and customs. Don’t go somewhere foreign looking for the nearest McDonald’s. Try new things. One thing I can’t stand is when people who have the luxury to travel don’t even go out and take advantage of it. I really try to immerse myself in a new culture when I go places. I try to remove my identity as an American and erase the sense of having a nationality. I’m just human, like everyone else.

4.) Study/Learn – In terms of going to a country where the main language is not English, I’ll try to learn a little bit of the language if I can. If not, I’ll at least bring a translation book. I try to look a little bit into the current culture of the country in relation to politics and social customs that might be present and maybe a little bit of the history. Don’t go in blind. One thing I never want associated with me is the label of being an "Ugly American."

5.) Make a playlist – Okay, this one is totally up to you. Music is the best way of remembering a place for me. It helps me easily think back on certain moments in my life and travels. Making a travel playlist can bring back all the memories you had during your adventures.

6.) Take photos – We are so lucky to live in an era where you can capture an image or moment in the highest quality possible. Take lots and lots and LOTS of photos. One day, I know I can look back on my times of traveling abroad and be able to remember some of the best times of my life.

7.) Talk to people – Be cautious about this, but don’t worry too much. Don’t be afraid to be a tourist. Ask a local questions or directions on where you need to go or what to do. I really love talking to people from other countries. So many of the friends I've made have been through embracing people while traveling. Travelers are friendly and most will be looking to make friends too.

8.) Look beyond the obvious – If you’re in Paris, you’re going to see the Eiffel Tower. If you’re in London, you’re probably going to go to Buckingham Palace. If you go to Rio, you want to see the Christ the Redeemer statue etc. etc. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see famous landmarks and you totally should. But, some of my favorite places on trips involve going to places a lot of people forget about like hole in the wall cafes or just laying in nice park. Be a local for a day and see what you find.

                                                                                Happy traveling! 


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