Tips for Preparing to Go Abroad…..

#1 Tip: Don’t be me, or else you’ll get overwhelmed a month and a half before you even leave.

That may be a bit dramatic, but preparing for international travel is hard. None of my family has flown internationally or been to Europe, and I haven’t flown farther than Denver before in my life, so if there’s such a thing as travel shock, I’m knee deep in it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got the basics down-I’ve got a passport, plane tickets, pre-departure information, and a hefty bill from DIS, but that doesn’t make you ready to travel. At all. I don’t have a plan for phone service while I’m in Europe, I don’t have luggage to get my wardrobe across the Atlantic-don’t even get me started with shoving my life for 4 months into a 50 pound suitcase-I don’t know where I’m living in Copenhagen, I don’t know my finalized class schedule, and I’ve only flown once on my own with a very nice airport security man telling me exactly where to go, and that didn’t involve customs or a 7 hour layover or any of those lovely details.

At this point, I’m starting to get overwhelmed with the details. Where can I shop in Copenhagen? How can my family and friends send me letters? What is insurance like over there? What’s this nonsense about some medications not being permitted in Denmark? (FYI, the answer to all these questions are mostly on Danish websites. Written in Danish. Which consequently doesn’t look like any comprehensible language to an outsider like me.) Since when is electricity different in every single country in Europe? And why must Denmark use a different currency than the rest of the European Union-that’s just one of the many problems with my plan to drift from country to country in Europe until I’ve seen it all over the next semester.


With all of the finicky details that my parents can’t really help me on, the one thing that’s keeping me going is pictures like this one. I’m going to live there for four months next semester, and to draw on an overused cliche, it will probably be the time of my life. So I just keep coming back to this-who cares if my plane gets delayed and I have to find my way to my mysterious home all on my lonesome? Or if I get pick-pocketed in Italy and get a $1000+ phone bill for calling the police? All the details will work themselves out, and soon enough I’ll be in the “Paris of Northern Europe” and living a college kid’s dream. I can keep myself together until then. 

Besides, as Belle will probably mock me for later, there’s only 47 days until we leave (Yes Belle, I still have that countdown app on my phone), and that’s something to get excited about.


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