This post will be part of a series detailing lessons I learned and observations I have made throughout my time traveling along the Camino de Santiago in the Summer of 2018. I will title each post and number them chronologically, for easy reading 🙂
I am writing this post from the Camino as I go..and am also presently working on my disse\nrtation for my doctorate in the evenings after walking throughout the day. Just as a head’s up, I am not going to be writing each day as I am trying to get the most from each moment 🙂
It is 4 June 2018 and I am on day 7 of my adventure!
Before I jump into my trip, I want to share some tips related to traveling abroad....
When traveling, particularly when traveling abroad, I have found it much more enjoyable when I am able to “go with the flow.” Many of the modern conveniences of the Western culture are not found elsewhere in such abundance. It can be easy to become frustrated when things aren’t as we would expect. Perhaps this is why I have heard it said on multiple occasions.. to include once so far on this trip.. “Americans are entitled.” This is just one perception held by some individuals, but not at all to be considered the only view held about Americans by those who reside in other countries. And, not to be misconstrued as an attack on those living in the United States.
So, if you have never traveled outside of the United States, or if you are preparing to travel internationally.. here are a few tips I have to hopefully make your experience more enjoyable:
- Bring your own toilet paper- Many countries, to include those in Europe, do not always provide tissue paper/toilet paper in their public restrooms.
- Be respectful of others’ time. If the bus is scheduled to depart or you are required to check out of a hostel, albergue, bed & breakfast, or hotel at a specific time.. don’t expect that the host will be understanding if you are running a few minutes behind.
- Understand that the idea of personal space takes on vastly different definitions across the globe. This goes from standing room on buses and sidewalks to sleeping arrangements.
- Expect to get lost.. getting lost isn’t always a bad thing.. if you plan for it. Always allow more time than you would normally need to get from Point A to Point B.. Remember, the language and the signage are different in each country. It will take you longer to do simple tasks (i.e., like find a restroom or the bus station). You can alleviate much stress if you just account for this in your preparations.
While this list is obviously not exhaustive, I shared some of these thoughts with my long-time friend, as our plan to hike the Camino de Santiago was her first trip abroad. We were flying from two different parts of the States, and would be meeting in Paris to begin our journey. My flight was to arrive in Paris at 0930, and hers at 1715 the same day. We would stay in Paris and make our way to St. Jean Pied de Port by way of plane, train, and bus, the next day.
Before leaving Stateside, we planned to meet at the Eiffel Tower at 7ish…
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