Dear First-Time Traveler (or anyone who could use a bit of travel advice),
First of all, I’m so excited for you! You are about to embark on a journey to some destination, whether it’s out of your home country or just out of your home state or province. You’re probably feeling very excited and maybe a little nervous right now, possibly even a little overwhelmed. These are all perfectly normal feelings!
I’d like to give you the best advice I can think of which will prepare you for travel. I want to tell you my secret of the single best thing to pack with you on any trip.
Ready? Here it is: the right mindset.
I know, I know. You were expecting a physical, real-world object, weren’t you? But honestly, your actual packing list shouldn’t matter much. If you forget something, you can always buy it on the road.
But if you forget to pack a good mindset, your trip is likely to be unpleasant if not miserable. How do you pack it, you ask? Here are some things to think about.
- Don’t expect things to be the same as back home. You’ve traveled some distance. Many things are going to be different. If you go into the trip knowing this, you can stop yourself from getting annoyed or complaining when you can’t find your favorite brand of toothpaste at the store.
- Be open to new experiences. Just as things will be different, you will have the opportunity to try new foods and do new things. Embrace it! Even if you don’t end up liking what you try, it will make a good story later.
- Think positive. Not everything is sunshine and roses when you travel. Things often don’t go the way you planned. But if you can just go with it, smile and even laugh about your mistakes, you will enjoy yourself much more.
- Remember, it’s an adventure. I find if you think of every trip as an adventure, things can’t get you down. So when you’re feeling upset about something that’s happening, remember – this is an adventure! Savor every moment of it.
Hopefully, once you’ve packed your proper mindset, you will have a much better trip. No, it probably won’t be perfect (but if it is – how awesome for you!). But you will have great memories and stories to tell. Travel can change you for the better – here’s hoping it does for you.
Rachel, who was once a first-time traveler too.