Traveling the world, experiencing a new culture and speaking several languages and are high up on many people’s bucket lists – but not everyone’s. Many people feel limited by their fears of visiting an unknown country and feel more comfortable staying at home. As a student and Global Intern for EF, I had the amazing opportunity to travel the world and see incredible places. So, I asked myself: what’s stopping people from going abroad?
I came up with five solutions to common travel problems that might help you overcome your fear of going abroad and give you the push you need to get out and explore the world!
Problem: Homesickness has been described as a grief reaction, like having lost a loved one. However, what the person is grieving in this case, is the loss of a familiar place. When people travel, they usually go to places that might be very different from their native country and this can be an adjustment. Homesickness can prevent people from fully enjoy themselves abroad.
Solution: Remind yourself that sooner or later you’ll be returning home, and you only have this time to enjoy yourself and the place you are visiting. Write down the places you want to see and put together a schedule you can focus on. In order to feel like you have control over your life in a new environment, create a routine so you have the comfort of knowing what you’ll be doing and when.
2. Traveling alone
Problem: Being by yourself in another country can be scary. When you travel alone, you don’t have family or friends to rely on.If there’s a problem, you have to find a way to solve it yourself. This can make people hesitant from traveling solo. You can always try and convince your best friends to come with you but traveling alone is one of the most exciting things on this planet.
Solution: Traveling solo is the perfect opportunity to make friends from different parts of the world, hear a variety of languages and decide everything by yourself. How many times have you had to go to visit a restaurant or particular sight because your friends wanted to? Well, when you travel by yourself, you are the leader and you can do whatever you want. In case you need help, technology has your back. You can always call or Skype your family!
Problem: One important requirement when it comes to travel, is money. Flights, hotels and living costs in a foreign country can be expensive. Fortunately, these days there are many options people can consider before traveling.
Solution: If you want to travel without spending too much money, it’s best to do some thorough research on the Internet. Instead of booking a hotel room, you can always consider Airbnb or hostels. Traveling with a friend and sharing a room is also a great way to save money!
If you are traveling by plane, make sure you book your flight in advance. Flights are very pricey but many companies have exclusive offers, so make sure you stay up-to-date with those websites!
4. Cultural differences
Problem: Different food, habits and time zones are part of the travel package. Even if these differences are a key part of exploring and visiting the world, people might fear them. Once someone is used to certain habits, it can be tricky to get out of them.
Solution: The more you learn about these cultural differences and get on board with them, the better you’ll understand a culture. Be open-minded, try new things and talk to new people! When traveling, adaptation is key.
Problem: One of the most common obstacles when traveling to a foreign country can be the language barrier. Not being understood or struggling to communicate in another language can lead to some stressful situations. For this reason, many people are wary of leaving their comfort zone. Fortunately, today’s technology can help us.
Solution: There are many translation apps you can download that can help anyone express themselves in a foreign language. You can also buy a book and study the basics of the language you’ll be speaking in the country you are traveling to. Take this fear as a challenge for yourself and don’t let that stop you from taking the next flight and exploring the world!