Passport? Check. Phone charger? Check. Alright, after all my time spent researching for my trip abroad, making a packing list, and going to all the study abroad meetings, everything should be perfect. Of course, being my first time traveling abroad, that would be improbable.
Anxiety for traveling abroad is quite common, especially if it is your first time. The stress of being away from what you know can be a daunting task. For me, traveling to Spain was anxiety filled as I thought, “How am I going to ask people for directions?” or “What if I forgot something at home?” I have been studying Spanish for a while now but am nowhere near fluent. To reduce anxiety before going abroad, being prepared for various situations can be helpful. For instance, I researched the fashion of Spain in advance so I would not pack clothes I would never end up wearing. Furthermore, I brushed up on common phrases in Spanish so I could find help if needed. I also researched the layout of the airport in Madrid so I would have a sense of where I needed to go when I landed. However, even with all this preparation, things can still be a little nerve-racking. When making my connecting flight in Boston, an attendant pointed me the wrong way and I ended up exiting the airport and having to re-enter through security. Luckily, I made it just in time but obstacles like this, such as losing your luggage, may come up and are unavoidable no matter how much you prepare. In these situations, I learned the most important lesson for traveling: keeping a cool head and not being afraid to ask strangers for help. People are usually more than willing to help and asking airport security and other workers around the airport is an effective way to get out of a tricky situation. Just by keeping calm, and thinking through your problems will help you get through them quickly, and efficiently. If you prepare for your trip and mentally ready yourself for the trials ahead, you will be at your destination and enjoying your time abroad in no time!