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In life, as you age, you encounter people… and you learn how you, and others, conduct themselves and try (emphasis on try) to relate to others. You will figure out if you are one of those people who keep all the secrets of success to yourself – or – if you find joy in helping others. Personally, I am the latter. Although…there is something to say about those who seek the clues to success on their own.

Currently, I am two days out from starting a new chapter for my life in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. I visited two years ago and have wanted to move there ever since. Finally, the timeline has effortlessly presented itself for me to move abroad. The unknown of what will unfold because of this decision in the years to come is the most exhilarating feeling in the world.

All of this has made me think back to when I first decided to embark on that journey across the globe two years ago. I initially sought out my friends who had gone on similar travels in order to pick their brains about every question I could think of. My hope was that they would give forth some advice – or better yet, help paint the daunting / terrifying picture of traveling to a land I had never been to. And one I would be extremely far away from anyone or anything I knew, and where I didn’t know the native languages. However…that wasn’t the case exactly. My questions would get answered but not much was ever given forth. I guess for some all you can do is answer the questions people ask and the rest of their travels is for them to experience and learn from. I personally would find it immensely enjoying to sit down in front of a computer and notepad with someone and help them plan out their WHOLE trip. Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, ha!

To each their own I am learning as I “age”.

During my travels I kept a Note going in my phone about some things I felt would be convenient to know prior to or during my travels. So here they are:

  • Don’t bring a hat – and if you do, make sure it’s able to be packed into your luggage…not atop your head. Unless you’re like me and don’t mind looking like an oddball on the plane with 3-7 hats stacked on your head.
  • Pack on the lighter side because if elevators/lifts do not exist in the buildings you are visiting, than it will be quite the task to get those suitcases up to your flat.
  • Walk to the end of a train (not front) because there will be less people, which = less bodies, which = not as hot (if summer).
  • Bring a bluetooth speaker (boombox). #fun
  • Carry a wine opener. But pack it in your luggage not your carry on. (because of the knife that comes with most openers) In case you want to open a bottle on the Eiffel Towers lawn at midnight.
  • Have euros (or the country’s currency) on you at all times. As well as ensure you have a debit card that has an international chip on it, however be wary of the fees. Get an international credit card that doesn’t have international transaction fees. I recommend Chase’s Sapphire card.
  • Bring a swiss army knife – you never know when you will need a tool. Again, put in checked bag – not carry on.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • & Wet wipes! that can be used for all body parts. You never know when a public bathroom won’t have toilet paper. #nightmare
  • “Lo siento” means I’m sorry in Spanish. You’ll need this to apologize for not knowing the language and if you run into people on accident so you don’t come across as a rude tourist.
  • Never book through Vueling airlines out of Spain. It is a nightmare to get checked in. Get to the airport EXTRA early (3 hours) if you do book with them.
  • Know how to ask where the bathroom is in the language of the country you are visiting
  • Keep your cross body bag (recommended) or purse in front of you, not behind you.
  • Just nod to the peddlers – there is an immense amount of people selling items to you in certain areas of Europe.

To be truthful, traveling to Europe was not nearly as daunting as I had originally imagined it to be. Their money is worth a few cents more than ours ($1.00 = €1.17) and lucky for us we have smart phones that can convert on the drop of a dime, literally – and translate for us in a matter of seconds. The metro systems in multiple countries are super easy to use, enjoyable really. #adventure – Adventure is just the mentality you have to go in with and know that if an emergency happens no one’s going to leave you high and dry…you just might have a large medical bill…which leaves me with my last tip! Purchase travel insurance. You’ll feel a whole lot better while traveling.

And that’s all I have for you guys for now! As I begin my life living abroad I will be sure to create another “Tips List” and post at a later time. Feel free to leave any advice you may have in the comments below.

Thanks for following and have a wonderful day!

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