Travel Lessons – 30s Edition

Posted by KaraBautch |04 Jun 19 |

Travel Lessons – 30s Edition

As I reflect back on my first solo trip to Europe, my main thought is why didn’t I do this sooner?

Although I had been nervous before I left, I sat on the plane home, teary-eyed, not wanting to leave.

I had been given the opportunity of a lifetime. I am forever grateful for all of my experiences and the people I met. I am so lucky and thankful to have friends in different countries and on different continents. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to tell my friends to have a great day as they wish me a good night.

As I reflect back, here are some things I learned along the way

Relax, it’s going to be ok.
Being the type that enjoys planning and staying organized, and often keeping to a schedule – my trip taught me that “there will always be another train” (or plane, or car….). Simply sit back and enjoy the journey as you never know who you will meet or what you will learn.

Talk to as many people as you can!
I LOVE talking to people and hearing their stories. Better yet if they live in a different country or grew up differently than I did – I’m all ears! Everyone has a unique perspective and a different story to tell. By talking to people, you never know what you will take away from an exchange or who you will meet – you never know, you may end up being lifelong friends.

Pack light and for comfort.
I promise you don’t need that extra pair of shoes or that extra dress in case the weather warms up. More items mean more things to carry and heavier bags. Besides, you will want to leave room for any trinkets you pick up on your travels.

Speaking of, this backpack and these packing cubes are amazing!

Don’t waste your mornings spending 30 minutes doing your makeup – take that time to grab a coffee from the local café and take a stroll around the park.

Have confidence in yourself.
Yes, you flew 12 hours in a tiny tube with wings, across an ocean and multiple time zones – but that goes to show – you can do anything! Go ahead, learn public transportation and how to mind your bags, try speaking in the native language, use Google Maps while walking around the city with your headphones in so you look like you know where you are going. You. Can. Do. Anything.

*Always be mindful and smart. If your gut is telling you not to walk down that alley – don’t do it. Make good choices.

Call your family.
Yes, Mom… I made it. I am safe. Here are pictures from my day… see, I’m having fun!

Slow down.
Seeing as much as you can in as short of a time frame as possible is great and all, but have you ever enjoyed a delicious glass of wine, overlooking a fairytale city with absolutely no agenda?

It is the best.

Sometimes taking the time to appreciate the moment, the scenery, or the German edition of Dancing with the Stars is all it takes for a quick travel re-charge.

**This also includes staying off of social media and your phone when you have a few moments. You don’t need to check Instagram to see what is happening at home as you are in a bustling city, waiting for your train. Instead, people watch and take it all in.

Be grateful.
You have had the opportunity to visit a far-off land. You were pushed outside of your comfort zone. You have stories to last a lifetime.

Thank the universe for every experience – both good and bad – as all things give you the opportunity to learn and grow.

Long story short: if there is a place you want to visit…just plan the trip and go. Don’t wait around for someone to go with you. I promise it will be a life-changing experience.