Time to step outside of North America!
5 International Travel Tips:
Having travelled extensively all across my home and native land (Oh Canada!) and having seen the beauty that this country has to offer in terms of its dramatic landscapes, diverse people, and distracting weather, I can honestly say that there's no feeling quite as exciting as leaving home for the strange and forgeign. I love Canada, and Toronto is a world class city unlike no other where women can actually walk outside at night without having to grip their purses like no tomorrow, but the world is large and other countries beckon enticingly...
International Travel Tip #1 - Visit your home and birth country first (this isn't an "international" trip per se but whatever!
I wouldn't recommend one travels outside of their home country without visiting their own country first. I was lucky that my parents roadtripped it out with myself and my siblings when I was younger and we visited the East and West coast in a trusty Volvo over several years. For those that have already accomplished that step, this article is for you. You already know the benefits of travelling the homeland and doing that in itself has probably opened your mind up in ways you don't even realize. There's no point in travelling internationally if you don't even appreciate the land you come from.
Don't know what the Bay of Fundy or Lake Louise is? How dare you call yourself a Canadian!
International Travel Tip #2 - Visit your continent
Baby steps folks! If you live in North America, visit its neighbours. Once again, this is where roadtrips, bus trips, and cheap airlines play a helping hand. If you live in Europe you're oh so lucky to have the Eurail at your service, and if Asia is your home continent there's more budget airlines than anything. Do your research and visit those neighbours like crazy, that way you'll learn what travel style suits you best and where your interests lie.
I've been to New York City more than three times, and each time I discovered I really love art galleries and the theatre. Now when I visit any city in the States I make sure to visit a gallery/museum and take in a play.
International Travel Tip #3 - Make friends!
Imagine setting out to a new country where everyone speaks a different language, transportation runs at a different level, and the ATM doesn't seem to want to accept your credit card, wouldn't it be great if you knew someone who lives there?! I've met a lot of great friends through a personal blog I've had for years, and one of the most exciting things when travelling is meeting those friends where the locals meet to see what that city life is really about.
You can meet people in a variety of ways. Whether you connect with people online before you travel, or meet new friends on tours or just by striking up a conversation on the bus, nobody rejects a friendly face (unless you're an American - just kidding!!)
International Travel Tip #4 - Insurance, you need it.
Yes INSURANCE is one mighty word. Most of the time, travel insurance might seem like money wasted. If you're a careful traveller, chances are, you might never need the insurance, but having that back up plan is the safe way to go because you never know what could happen. I personally would recommend getting insurance on any trip that leaves your continent (although I've been guilty of not always following this tip, I know it's of the utmost important when planning a vacation). Don't cheap out. If you're going to travel internationally, do it well, chances are, you might never travel to some of the same destinations twice, so go once, do it well and be satisfied. Breaking your ankle walking along the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland on the second day of your European adventure is not a pretty picture.
International Travel Tip #5 - Get out and do it now!
So you've never set foot off your continent? Do it now before it's too late. Once you have a stable job, are married and have children, the time will never come... what are you waiting for? If you don't know where to start, start with the country your parents come from, or where you may have some relatives to get cheap (or free) accomodation. Then forge ahead! Europe is filled with ancient ruins, soaring Gothic cathedrals and lovely gardens. Africa is filled with safaris of all kinds and cultures and traditions that still live strong. South America is full of adventure, and the Eastern world offers a powerful spirituality. Choose your interest and go for it.
Got a travel question? Feel free to contact me on my personal blog: liyapilly.wordpress.com