When traveling abroad it is important to be prepared for the unexpected, sometimes more than what you would originally imagine. My second week in Paris has opened my eyes to that conclusion; simply because I fully trusted of my not so good study abroad programs given that other students seemed to be satisfied (Some people really do only tell you what you want to hear when they are giving these presentations). Furthermore, these are things that also apply to traveling within your country or abroad.
1. Weather: This week has presented me with the worst weather I could have imagined. It has been raining here since Sunday (Today is Thursday) giving me no opportunity and go out and enjoy the city. When planning my trip, I intended to check the weather for the month, I imagined it would rain but I had no idea that there are heavy showers in the summer accompanied with very cold weather (It feels like March in NYC). I packed an umbrella (which broke) and a rain jacket (Life Saver). My point here is, always be prepared for the worst and make sure to do really heavy research, you can never ask too many questions.
2. Activities: Always plan your own activities when traveling; do not just drop in and join other people in what they are doing. The most memorable experiences are the ones that you had some input in. I like to use Timeout to plan my activities. It provides a great breakdown of the things that are going on in any given city or country during the week or month you are visiting and also has a breakdown of inexpensive restaurants you can visit as well as stores, parks, carnivals, etc.
3. Questions: Whether you are studying abroad or traveling, never be afraid to ask questions, it can prevent you from falling into a deep hole you can’t climb out of. Always keep a positive mentality when things go wrong because after every misfortune there is uplifting happiness. Although I was already asking questions before arriving, I am still asking questions now. I am very lucky to have an understanding professor that’s recognizes the good and the bad of being here and she has offered my whole class various inexpensive alternatives to enjoy our time here.
The most valuable lesson about traveling on your own is learning how to take care of yourself. You are not responsible for other people so no matter what, make sure to always put your needs first. After all, you are the one financially responsible for all expenses during any of your trips, so make sure every cent was worth spending and to always make a note of the things that went wrong so you won’t repeat them next time. Preparation is key!
In : Travel
Tags: traveling tips abroad vacation fun activities