Shock And Awe: First Time International Traveling Jitters

There I am... on my first major trip with my husband, posing in front of the castle church in Krakow, Poland

In the last week and a half I have had two very interesting conversations with other women about their very first cross Atlantic journeys. It got me thinking about my first trip outside of North America and all the emotions I really had not anticipated when my husband and I reached our first layover in Amsterdam on the way to Warsaw, Poland.

When Travis and I made our first international trip together, we had been married a little over a month. He was an experienced world traveler, and it was my first time ever being in a place where they didn’t speak English as the main language. I remember getting off of the plane and feeling extremely overwhelmed by my inexperience. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I was scared. I didn’t want anyone to hear me speaking English because I didn’t want anyone to know I was an American tourist (which I equated with being an easy target). When I was talking to my friend Andi before we left Hungary (you’ll remember her from this post)… she described going through a similar experience when she traveled to the United States for the first time. Then this week, upon arriving back in Athens, I met a woman who just made her first trip outside of the US with her two sons.

Then I thought about my experience, and Andi’s experience, and how this woman must have felt with all of those same emotions surging through her being, and having her two sons with her. With all of that in mind, I thought about you, the lovely readers of this blog. This is the reason I write this blog, so that you will be better prepared for your traveling experiences, and not feel overwhelmed like I did when I first started traveling.

When I first started traveling, I was nervous. Being nervous is completely natural, and no amount of reading or planning is going to take that away completely. However, I hope that all of the information I’m sharing with you will help to dismiss the unfounded fears that really plagued me early in my traveling career. One example is that I was paranoid about being pickpocketed. I had one of those passport holders that you wear under you clothes and I was on red alert all the time. How can you enjoy your trip if you are so on edge?

The answer is simple, you can’t. Now I know the proper way to avoid having my passport lifted, and it gives me peace of mind (check out this post). I also had issues with trusting locals, which can make a trip a lot less rich than if you get to know locals. I wish I would have known more traveling tips and tricks when I started traveling! Especially the ones about traveling with children, because there were a lot of trial and error moments. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m writing this blog for you, to help you avoid some of the unpleasantries I went through. I want you and your family to have the best traveling experience possible, and I hope that shows.

Happy traveling!

Kristin

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