Getting out of your comfort zone for the first, or fiftieth, time can be intimidating. Our 50 years of experience has taught us exactly what it takes to get over those travel jitters, prepare for the next 2 weeks, and get out on the road. Take a look at our top ten suggestions!
We all daydream of destinations that excite us, challenge us, change us, and turn us into more educated and global citizens. It’s a natural instinct to be curious and want to know what life outside our small town is like. This is why YOU have taken the leap and committed to be a part of your schools’ EF Tour! Good for you, this is a huge step towards the most exciting time of your life.
We know leaving home can be scary. “How am I going to ask where the bathroom is?” … “What if I can’t call my family for a couple days?” … “Will I know how to take Euros out of the ATM?”
If this is your first time leaving home, or maybe even North America, don’t feel like those nervous butterflies are only happening to you – everyone experiences them! They’re a mix of excitement and fear, which is actually pretty cool. Our brains are able to send two different signals at once that run into each other and create that fluttery feeling you get in the pit of your stomach every time you imagine yourself boarding that plane. But do not fear! This is the start of a chapter in your life that is going to be filled with wonder, new friendships, memories, photographs, Snapchat videos, a desire to learn or teach more than you ever could in the classroom, and it’s a beautiful chapter to be a part of.
Travel is one of the greatest, longest lasting forms of education because it stays with you forever. You may forget everything you learned in Grade 10 math class (unless, of course, you still teach Grade 10 Math, lookin’ at you Mr. G), but you never forget the first time you stepped inside the Acropolis in Athens and walked the same pathways ancient Greek leaders did thousands of years ago.
So take a deep breath, close your eyes, and picture yourself wandering the streets of Paris with your best friends, a freshly baked baguette in hand that you ordered in your best French, and the Eiffel Tower only steps away – feel better? We thought you might!
We’ve made a TOP 10 list of some helpful tips that will get you past those nerves and ready to board your flight – EF backpack on, passport in hand, and a huge smile on your face as you wave goodbye to Canada for an unforgettable experience.
1. Learn a little lingo! Practice some words in the language of the country you’ll be travelling to – you’ll feel like a pro when you land and want to order a nice cold Coca-Cola in Spanish.
2. Make a packing list so you don’t feel like you’ve forgotten anything when it’s time to leave.
3. Pack your favourite hoodie or t-shirt – you’ll feel at home when you wear it, and it’s always a little chilly on the airplane!
4. Browse social media for pictures of the places you’re going – photographs are worth a thousand words, and seeing others who have been where you are going will definitely make you feel more comfortable.
5. Download your favourite music so you can sit back, relax, and listen to songs that make you feel happy when the airplane is taking off.
6. Bring a journal with you – writing down your feelings is the best way to express them, plus, it’ll be pretty awesome to read back what you wrote 10 years from now!
7. Purchase some of your favourite snacks for the flight.
8. Buy a disposable camera (Shoppers or Wal-Mart will carry them) – get excited to take pictures the “old fashioned way” that you can print out when you get home.
9. Set up a group chat with your family so you can share pictures and videos as you go along – they’ll love to see what you’re up to and it’ll make you feel better knowing they’re only a quick message away.
10. Imagine your life a year from now – what if you hadn’t gone on the tour? You won’t remember being nervous, but you will look back on the experience and wish more than anything you could do it all over again!
Gained some confidence from these helpful hints? Find your next adventure here!