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Hi.

Welcome to our blog! We are two 20-somethings trying to see as much of the world as possible. Read on about our travel adventures and enjoy our BS!

Advice For Your First Trip From Experienced Travelers

Advice For Your First Trip From Experienced Travelers

We just returned from our first long-term trip (AHHHHH!) and as exciting as it was, we also felt nervous, overwhelmed, and totally out of our comfort zone at times. But life is all about finding adventure and extending your comfort zone, right? Before any major change, it's natural to get anxious and feel unsure in your decision. Words from others who have done it before you can be comforting, though.  So, we decided to reach out to some of our favorite long-term travel bloggers for some advice on our first big trip:

Seeking Neverland:

Where did you go on your first extended trip? 

My first extended trip was in 2012 on 5 week backpacking trip through Europe. It was amazing. Up until that point I had never experienced so many different cultures and I was hooked! I loved every minute of it.

Did you travel alone or with friends? What were some pros and cons of this?

 Photo by Seeking Neverland

Photo by Seeking Neverland

I traveled with my boyfriend but made many friends along the way.

Pros – cultural experiences, meeting people from all over the world, the beer in Belgium, and learning about the history of every new city I traveled to.

Cons - Not being able to have good American Food when I wanted it (i.e. all the processed comfort foods of home, haha) and no toilet seat covers in public bathrooms. It was my first time abroad so I had a bit of "sanitation" shock. 

What do you wish you had researched or done differently prior to your trip?

I honestly think I researched a little too hard. It would have been nice to arrive in a destination not knowing anything and taken it from there. Other than that, I would have spent less time getting ready. I mean, when we reflect on our travels, do we really reflect on how we looked at the time? Most likely not.

Do you have a most memorable location or experience from your trip?

The most memorable experience for me was at the Delirium Bar in Brussels, Belgium. Anyone who knows the game Flip Cup will understand this story. Basically what started as a three person game turned into multiple tables being pushed together and a bar cheering for either side to finish the race and flip the last cup. The teams were made up of people from all over the world. Every time someone walked into the bar, they eventually made their way into the flip cup game. The best part was trying to explain the rules to someone who didn’t speak a word of English. Needless to say we made it work and it was epic.

Would you recommend this to others as their first big trip?

Absolutely! Europe can be expensive in some places and cheaper in others. Budget wisely and do “some” research. Throw some clothes in a bag and go! You will make memories to last a lifetime.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/seekneverland/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seekingneverland/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SeekNeverland

Destinationless Travel:

Where did you go on your first extended trip?

Our first real backpacking trip was three months long traveling in Souteast Asia. This trip made us realise that three months is much too short, so we nearly immediately booked our next trip with an open-ended timeline to South America.

 Did you travel alone or with friends? What were some pros and cons of this?

We are a couple. 

 Photo by Destinationless Travel

Photo by Destinationless Travel

Pro: Traveling with another person can definitely be more cost effective in terms of splitting prices for taxis, meals, or even hotel rooms. Even in low season, we have each other to go out and experience things with. We don't have to rely on other people or the vibe of a hostel to go out and be social  

Con: The "boring couple" stereotype, but that's easy to get past after a few minutes. Traveling on long buses with little sleep and food can make you a little grumpy, so it's safe to say arguments can happen, even to the best of us! 

What do you wish you had researched or done differently prior to your trip?

Dan - Nothing. I hate researching.

Bailey - I wish I packed less stuff. I packed a blow dryer and a hair straightener, you don't need these ever when backpacking. Believe me, your shoulders will thank you if you can keep your backpack as light as possible. 

 Do you have a most memorable location or experience from your trip?

Our top Southeast Asia experience was something we almost didn't do because it is a little challenging to get there, the Gibbon Experience. This is a two day jungle trek with dozens of ziplines through a jungle in Northern Laos. 

 Would you recommend this to others as their first big trip?

Yes. It was incredible and unlike antyhing else we have ever done.

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/destinationlesstravel/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/destinationlesstravel/?ref=nf

1 Life:

 Where did you go on your first extended trip? 

My first extended trip was a 10-week internship at a non-proft in Dublin, Ireland. 

 Did you travel alone or with friends? What were some pros and cons of this? 

The internship was arranged by a program through Oregon State University, so I got to meet a lot of other students who would be living in Ireland before I flew there. I traveled and lived alone but spent a lot of time with the other American interns. I thought I would make friends with locals right away but it was harder than I thought so having other students there was incredibly valuable. However, the internship program was a lot more expensive than if I had arranged it myself. Overall, I would definitely recommend having an agency arrange a study abroad or internship program for students, especially those traveling for the first time. 

What do you wish you had researched or done differently prior to your trip?

I wish I would have researched where I would be living and working so I felt more prepared. I depended too much on the internet and not enough on good old fashioned paper maps! Also, I would have created a budget so that I felt more comfortable while I was there and living mostly on student loans. 

Do you have a most memorable location or experience from your trip?

I loved living in the D4 neighborhood of Dublin and I really started feeling like a local while I was there. Spending an extended period of time allowed me to meet a lot of people and establish a routine of going to the grocery store, finding my favorite coffee shop and riding the same bus everyday. My favorite place was Howth which was just a short DART (Irish rail) ride away so I would go and sit by the ocean. I also took advantage of the cheap flights within Europe and traveled to Northern Ireland, Italy, Scotland (I LOVED Edinburgh) and England. 

Would you recommend this to others as their first big trip?

I would definitely recommend Ireland to anyone for a first extended trip! It is incredibly safe and easy to get around in a rented car or by public transportation. There are so many beautiful places to make your friends back at home jealous of on Instagram!

Blog: https://www.1life.online/news-1/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1life.online/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/1lifetravels/

WanderfulTraveler:

Where did you go on your first extended trip?

South America for 2.5 months: 

• Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu)
• Argentina (Iguazu, Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Perito Moreno Glaciers)
• Chile (Rio Gallagos, Punta Arenas, Santiago, San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta)
• Bolivia (Uyuni Salt Flats)
• Peru (Aguas Calientes/Macchu Picchu, Cusco)
• Colombia (Medellina, Cartagena, Bogota)

 Photo by WanderfulTraveler

Photo by WanderfulTraveler

Did you travel alone or with friends? What were some pros and cons of this?

I traveled with my boyfriend, James.  Previous to this trip, we saw each other a couple times a week so it was interesting to then be with each other literally 24/7.  The good thing about it was that we realized how strong our relationship was as we work extremely well together as a team!  Our strengths complemented each other and enhanced our experiences.  It’s a good habit to also schedule in some alone time for extended travel (it could be something as simple as reading books in different rooms for a couple of hours).

What do you wish you had researched or done differently prior to your trip?

Crazily enough, we spontaneously decided to take this 2.5 month trip two weeks before we left.  We were in the midst of moving to Amsterdam so had just recently quit our jobs and were apartment hunting.  I saw a Facebook post of an error fare from Europe to Brazil for $120!  James had always dreamt of backpacking South America and we figured this was the perfect time to go.  While planning an extended trip in two weeks was extremely tedious, the only thing I wish I had done prior to our trip was to better my Spanish as it is the main language used in South America.

Do you have a most memorable location or experience from your trip?

There were a lot of memorable experiences but the main highlights for me was the grand Perito Moreno Glaciers, the charming town of Cusco and sweeping views of Macchu Picchu, the 3-day journey into Bolivia to see the Salt Flats and the welcoming and lively city of Medellin, Colombia!

Would you recommend this to others as their first big trip?

I would only recommend it to avid travelers that have gone to lesser developed countries as there are places and situations that can be dangerous.  It’s not a glamorous, 5-star type of vacation but it’s definitely a trip of a lifetime.  Go with an open mind, positive attitude; take precautions, be confident, stay aware and you’ll have a great time!

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/wanderfultraveler/

The Travel Gays :

Where was your first extended trip to?

My first extended trip was to Spain. I spent a month living with a Spanish family in Sevilla and traveling a bit around the country. 

Did you travel alone or with friends? What were some pros and cons of this?

It was a study abroad trip, so it was with a group of friends and a professor. The benefits were that it was a great way to travel abroad on an extended trip for the first time. Everything was planned and organized and I didn't have to do any of the hard work. The negatives of that were that I valued it less because it was so easy, and I paid for the convenience in high tuition costs. It's a trip I could easily do alone at this point in my life. 

What do you wish you had researched or done differently prior to your trip?

It's always good to get a good base of knowledge about a country before going. I could have learned the geography and culture a bit better before going. That way it's more interesting when you see it in real life. 

 

Do you have a most memorable location or experience from your trip?

Barcelona was my favorite city from the trip, but the most memorable aspect had to be living with a local family. I had to speak Spanish the whole time so my language skills improved tremendously and it was a really great way to feel like a part of the community. Locals are the key to any travel experience. 

Would you recommend this to others as their first big trip?

Absolutely. Any place in Western Europe is great for a first trip. Lots of unique cultures, but easy and safe enough to not be too challenging. In general I recommend traveling in college as much as you can.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetravelgays/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetravelgays
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/thetravelgays/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/thetravelgays/

All of these bloggers had very different experiences for their first trips. It's important to find what you are comfortable with and what is realistic for your budget and time frame. Check out all of their websites for some more great travel advice to help you plan your first, or next, long-term trip!

 

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