Do's and Don'ts: Traveling in a Year Abroad


How to Plan and Achieve Your Bucket List for Your Year Abroad

So you've decided to study abroad or spend some time in a different country. It's going to be a great experience. But if you're anything like me, you'll have an agenda, a to do list of sorts. You'll have things that you absolutely must see before your time is up. And while a year seems like such a long time, it goes by quickly. And by the end of your time you're left with this huge to do list. So here's how to balance your time with your goals. 


Don't be unrealistic. When I was imagining my year abroad, I thought I would have enough time and energy to travel every weekend. Let's just say that was the most unrealistic expectation that I've ever set for myself. So when planning your travels, set small goals for yourself, not pages and pages of lists to actually keep your goals attainable. Clearly I learned my lesson.

Joan of Arc House, Orleans


Get suggestions from locals. When I moved to Paris, I had a lot of ideas of what to see and do, but I have to say that the best ideas came from those that were suggested by people from the area. They know all the secrets that books and the internet will never be able to share with you. And you get to see the city through the eyes of a local. So always be on the lookout for suggestions.


Save it all until the end. When you move you keep thinking that you'll do that one thing later, that you have so much time. Well there's only so many weeks in a year. And time flies. So don't save it until the last minute because you will run out of time. I am now in this dilemma and racing against the clock to see everything.


Plan monthly getaways. Instead of planning weekly getaways like the idiot that it was, plan one trip every month, whether it's in another country or in the surrounding region. I'm sure that while you would love to see everything in the city that you're living in, you would love to see more of the world outside your city. So plan a getaway every month. It doesn't completely break the bank, nor is it super exhausting.
Cathedral of Orleans


Assume that you'll see the city without trying. You think that you'll see everything, but you quickly get into a routine. You find your favorite places, favorite restaurants, and eventually stop branching out. So once a week try to take a different route to work. When hanging out with friends, try to see the city.


Constantly look for suggestions , holidays, and expositions. I try to take advantage of any kind of advertising that I find. Expositions are a great way to see what the city has to offer. But it's also great to plan your visits based off of events, such as visiting Venice during Carnavale or the German Christmas markets. It's a great way to see the culture of the place, even though it's going to be packed. Just look for any kind of thing out of the ordinary to shed a unique light on the city. 

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