Before my first trip to Europe, quite a few years ago now, I had no idea what to expect.  But, I was so excited that I started soaking in everything around me. I devoured TV series about French cooking and history novels about London. I created timelines of European history. I researched art classes in the Lakes district and admired French-inspired pastries in the local bakery.  I saved every cent and worked hard. I even painted myself a world map, meanwhile dreaming about all the possibilities that lay ahead. The point is that the anticipation before the trip was almost as exciting as the trip itself. When I actually arrived in Europe, all the research I had done helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the place itself. I came home enriched, addicted and with a whole new mindset. And then, of course, the travels continued!

Hand-painted world map

I would love to hear about how it felt before your first overseas trip!  What did you do to prepare yourself for the adventures ahead? Is anyone about to head off on their first big adventure?

13 thoughts

  1. I was extremely lucky. Dad had a travel agency when I was a child so travelling has always been part of my life. I remember my first flight: Brussels to Nice with Sabena. They served cold chicken. My first time across an ocean was seeing my uncle for the the first tie. He lived in Los Angeles. We flew TWA. How vintage is that!

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  2. My first overseas trip was to Jamaica. When I was 3. 🙂 These days, there are many things I like to do to prepare for a big trip. I learn some of the language and research the heck out of it, which now includes reading lots of blog posts. But most importantly, I read up on the history. I read historical fiction and nonfiction about some of the Plantagenet kings and queens before our last trip to France, since we were spending time in the Loire Valley, where they lived and ruled. We hope to be going to Laos and Cambodia at the end of the year, and already I’ve read one memoir about surviving Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime. I’m sure I’ll do more as the trip nears.


    1. What an amazing place to go at 3 years old! Yes, I also love researching the history of a place before going there – it puts everything in perspective and gives you a much richer understanding when you get there. Have a wonderful trip to Laos and Cambodia!

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  3. My first big trip was to study abroad in England when I was 20 years old. In the weeks leading up to leaving, I was taking a spinning class in the mornings and my instructor (who was a good friend of mine) put a postcard from London on the ground in front of my bike as motivation for me!! When I finally got to England those were some of the best 5 months of my life, and part of my motivation to eventually move abroad myself, to Australia.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful experience! Good work from the spin instructor too!! It sounds like you have had a very interesting journey so far, and what a beautiful place to move abroad 🙂🦘


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