Hey guys, today I’m going to be handing over the reins of this nifty post to a great travel blogger who’s absolutely up and coming and perhaps even established in the blogosphere.
As I’m soon to be on my travels in under 2 months, I wonder what the first 24 hours of travelling would be like…well Will explains it all.
Will Peach is one of the site editors over at Gap Daemon, the gap year travel website for backpackers and young travellers. You can also find him talking about his latest adventures on his Spain travel blog.
That first day abroad huh? The one you’ve been waiting for with baited breadth for days, weeks, months, hell, maybe even years. Finally it’s arrived. Finally you made the escape.
Yet, after all that anxious planning, and with mum’s farewell kiss still freshly tingling on your rosy little cheek, a nervous buzz rises to a crescendo inside of you.
“What on earth are you supposed to do now?”
But before you panic and start lumbering through the emotional treadmill, take a breath, relax and read on.
Smoothly settling into your new life out on the road? Needn’t be that tricky!
Take a Walk (On the Wild Side Optional)
Having shirked the UK for a life abroad in America, Vietnam and now Spain, you’d of thought even I, the most manliest of men (Ed – ‘seriously?!’), would have learned how to cope with those first 24 hours in a new place.
Now I may have bigged myself up a bit with that description, yet the problems that arise from arriving in a new place – the not knowing anyone or anything – are undoubtedly universal.
Thankfully you don’t have to do much to put yourself at ease. Look down and you’ll find one very easy answer indeed. Your own two feet.
That’s right. Walking, in all forms, is a great way to get accustomed to a new place straight off the bat. It’ll help you get a sense of your surroundings, give you a feel for a new place and, who knows, maybe even help make your first friend.
Just remember to take a map and the address of your place out with you!
Top Tip: Try and walk up to your hostel or hotel if possible. That way you can familiarize yourself with a new place that little bit faster.
Hit up the Community
There’s nothing worse than feeling alone at night in a new place with nothing to occupy your thoughts but those of the home you left behind. That’s why it’s important you get out.
CouchSurfing is the perfect remedy for any lonely traveller. Just fill out a profile and login to your new location and you’ll see groups and activities happening all around.
Pick an event and head on out. Often it helps to write a brief message to the group or the event beforehand explaining your situation.
CouchSurfers are a sympathetic bunch and will gladly take you under their wing to help you settle in during your first night abroad!
Top Tip: You can also browse for CouchSurfers who list their status as available for “coffee”. These might not be active on the groups but just as willing to meet up.
Don’t Call Home Or Hang Out on Social Media
Remember the reasons you travelled to see the world in the first place? All that “learning about yourself” and “having a great time”? Well you’re not going to get that by logging into Skype or Facebook and chatting to friends back home now are you?
Stay away from those long conversations for the first 24 hours or so. They’ll only make you think twice about what you’ve left and the new path you’ve chosen.
By all means let them know you’re safe – and a simple text or email will do –just don’t hang on the phone long enough to start missing the things you just left.
Top Tip: Tell people before hand that you’ll only get in touch after the first day when you’ve sorted everything out. That way your head will be in a much clearer space.
Work That Body
I find the best thing to replenish and rejuvenate the tiredness that travel can sometimes bring is by exercising in some way and having a refreshing shower afterward.
Getting a sweaty workout, whether it’s a quick jog around a park, a hotel gym session or a hostel dance class, can do wonders to improve your mental wellbeing.
The same goes for getting a good bit of a sun, sitting out on a terrace or café and drinking a cup of tea. That works a treat for me every time I switch cities here in Spain. The wonderful city of Barcelona is a great place full of cafes where you can visit and meet people.
Top Tip: Try and pack some light running trainers or sports shoes that you can stick on in the morning and do a bit of movement in.
Create Something That Expresses How You Feel
Those initial feelings of trepidation, if you harness them correctly, can lead to some great art. Whether you’ve considered or not, try things like keeping a journal and writing your thoughts, taking out a notepad and drawing a picture, or busting out a guitar and crafting a song.
Often it’s the moments when you feel most challenged that you are able to find your true voice.
It also feels cathartic to have accomplished something productive with your time rather than let all the worry and the fear get the best of you.
Tip: Start a blog like Rexy Edventures and begin sharing your experiences. You’ll be surprised how many people can offer you some great advice for getting through that rough first day.
That first 24 hours abroad isn’t always that gloriously wild ride! If you are one of the ones who has to take things a bit slower, don’t be ashamed.
Hopefully with some of these tips you can stave off the madness and start enjoying your new found freedom!
Cheers Will! I’ll bear all that in mind and let you know how my 24 hours go! If you want to know about his travels, hola on over to His Spanish Adventure Blog. I really reccommend it and I hope you’ll have fun reading about his Spanish Exploits!
Ha! Cool job mate. Love the captions 😉 Oh what a joke you’ve made me look! We’ll all be following you come departure day my friend, do not worry about that…Facebook stalk….
I made you look?! Sorry mate, you did it all by yourself. Keep up with the good Spanish work!
Nice post. I’m currently living in Vietnam and I love it. But my first 24 hours here were horrible. It was my first time living in a new country alone, I was petrified and spent a lot of hiding in a dingy room in a guest house! Thank goodness I stuck it out because it was only up from there!