Take these four steps to prepare for the trip that might just change your life!
Angie Orth, Editor-in-Chief at AngieAway.com
Whether you’re burned out at work, confused about that status of your relationship or just in need of some fresh air and wide-open spaces to recalibrate, nothing can change your life or reinvigorate your sense of purpose more than an overseas adventure.
Traveling abroad is the ideal way to press pause on an over-programmed, over-scheduled runaway life and surprisingly… planning your trip is half the fun! Here’s how to get started.
Imagine the Possibilities. One essential (and preliminary) part of planning a life-changing getaway is daydreaming about what you might do when you finally hit the road.
Forget about boundaries and restrictions and fears and make a list of everything you’ve ever thought you might want to do… if you only had the time. Do you fantasize about practicing yoga in a rice field in Bali or skydiving over the mountains of New Zealand? Nothing’s outside the realm of possibility, and the best time to hash out exactly what’s on your bucket list is before you hit the road.
Prepare Yourself. The best way to feel secure in your decision to embark on a life-altering journey is to do your research in advance. You don’t have to be an expert, but it helps to know a little bit of what to expect at your destination. The opening chapter of any guidebook will give you the basics you need on everything from currency to language to tips on dealing with local cab drivers or different means of transportation than you’re used to at home. After that, you’ll figure it out!
Pack Only What You Need. Deciding what to pack can be one of the most stressful parts of planning for an epic adventure, but it doesn’t have to be. Short of prescription medications, extra contact lenses and very particular toiletries, you should be able to pick up whatever you require as you travel. You don’t need 6 months worth of shampoo or toothpaste – just plan to add to your stash as you go along. You may not always find your favorite brand, but trying out bizarre-flavored Japanese mouthwash is all part of the adventure.
One personal tip to women (and some men): Don’t overdo it on clothes and shoes. Try to stick with one pair of athletic shoes, (if you are going to a warm-weather destination you should make this a pair of sandals that can double as shower shoes) and one pair of nice flats. If something happens along the way and you need heels, you can always buy them on the road –your purchases make great souvenirs!
Don’t Overthink It. Yes, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure your trip is everything you want it to be, but be sure to leave room for improvisation! It’s the surprises that come up along the way that make for the most interesting stories, so it makes sense to leave a bit of wiggle room in your itinerary.
The best way to be prepared for a life-changing getaway is to just go ahead and do it! Regardless of the circumstances, any time you step outside your comfort zone, you’ll be rewarded with personal growth, incredible stories and new friends. You just have to take the first step!
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