Your Trip Abroad
You have a trip abroad coming up! Congratulations. Traveling or living abroad is an important opportunity for personal growth that I believe everyone should experience at least once. But beyond the challenges of culture shock and adjusting your habits, there are a few things you should count on if traveling abroad for longer than a month, particularly if you are in a group setting. Read: Your time abroad will be much more like the movie Eurotrip than you hoped it would be.
1. Abdominal Discomfort
You can prepare for this in a number of ways, but it will happen. Whether it is the water or the sushi kiosk you visited last night, you will probably feel enough abdominal discomfort to stay home from one of the daytrips your group is planning. This is not necessarily food poisoning, but it might be. Ask your host mom in broken Spanish, but don’t worry too much about the language barrier, because she can tell by the way you are hunched over and gripping your abdomen. Also, this will happen the second you let your guard down and forgot to take the bacterial pills that are supposed to prevent this very situation. Give it 24 hours and also find a bathroom with soap and running water.
2. CraAzaAAzY Travel Stories
There’s no denying that a few excursions while abroad are a good time. With the right group of people, you might enjoy anything from mountainous beaches to hiking the lower reaches of a volcanic national park. Getting there is half the journey, though – or much more than half, once you are forced to hitchhike the remainder of the drive and pay the driver in small change or food, or something. It doesn’t matter though, because this story will be repeated at least a dozen times with slightly more exaggeration each time. When you actually remember the story yourself though, it won’t be nearly as eventful or interesting.
3. Rampant Hook-Ups
Unlike the previous two events which might be prevented with a little extra planning or foresight, rampant hook-ups are a completely unpreventable part of going abroad. Such are the romantic connections formed during three weeks abroad and that one time on the dance floor that a long-distance relationship seems feasible after returning home. I don’t want to be too cynical about this one, but please.