6 #HowToAdult Realities When Going Abroad
We All Have Had Those #HowToAdult Moments
Whether you’re 13 or 30, you’ve been through some kind of stage in your life where you had to start doing things without the help of your family. It’s definitely tough in the beginning, and you may not even realize how tough it was going to be. But eventually, it starts to become second nature.
The same reality goes with travelling abroad. Whether you choose to intern or study abroad for a few months, here are the realities on #HowToAdult when going abroad.
#1: You’re in Charge of Everything
Unfortunately, your parents or guardian can’t come with you to your abroad program. I mean, they could, but is that really what you want? Weren’t you trying to travel so that you could get away and explore on your own? Sooner or later, you’ll learn that you have to take charge of everything while abroad; fortunately, many programs provide you with some helpful resources prior to your travels.
Did you know that Adelante Abroad gives you a pre-departure orientation (PDO) packet a couple of months before your trip? That packet provides plenty of information on the area that you’ll be living in, plus helpful tips on going to different places. It can be a great resource to show you the next step in your travels.
#2: You Need to Learn How to Cook
While some internships are based in large urban cities, many programs are centered in rural areas, where grocery stores and restaurants are not as close by. What does that mean for you? It just means that you’ll have to experiment with local ingredients and mix them up in a kitchen pot. Yup, that’s right. You’ll need to cook.
Never cooked before? That’s alright. It is strongly advised to practice some basic cooking skills before travelling. Even if you’re not interning or studying abroad and just travelling on your wanderlust journey, cooking could save you hundreds of dollars on your trip.
You don’t have to be a culinary major to understand the foundations of cooking. Check out this WikiHow on cooking, or check out these 30+ dishes that anyone can make (quick tip: pasta is a great dish for starters).
#3: You Won’t Have a Cleaning Maid
You may have a host or hostess who comes in every so often to fix leaks or cracks where you’re staying, but they won’t be picking up dirty laundry for you. Although many of our parents teach us the importance of keeping a clean room or doing the dishes in early adolescence, not having someone remind you to clean up on your own may be a new experience.
Even the most seasoned college students and those who have lived alone for years can often forget a pile of clothes on the floor or even to vacuum the carpet from food crumps and dirt. Did you really think it just vanished magically?
Cleaning does not have to be difficult. Set up a reminder once or twice a week and dedicate a couple of hours to straightening up the house. You’ll be surprised what 20 minutes a day can do for an apartment. Look up “life hacks” online for quick tips on keeping your place looking nice and organized with little effort, too.
#4: Without a Budget, You Probably Won’t Last Too Long Abroad
If your parents have given you money before, and you’ve spent it all in less than a day, then this trip may be the best thing for you. Travelling abroad means being away from family, meaning being away from your constant cash flow that you were used to back at home.
It’s completely okay if you’ve never set up a budget for yourself before. Do you know how many adults in their 30s and 40s STILL don’t know how to budget? There are some easy ways to ensure that you don’t spend your entire savings halfway through your trip.
Do some research before you leave to determine how much money you need to save up. This includes cost of food (groceries and going out), transportation (bus and train passes, etc.), and souvenirs for yourself and your family.
Add some additional funds for emergencies (you never want to go without a backup). Then decide how you will split up your money each week. Write down what you spend and try not to go over your weekly budget.
If for some reason you end up spending more than planned, or there was an emergency, do not be afraid to contact your family for help. They may have extra money saved up for situations like these. However, this, of course, is a last resort.
#5: You Will Make Friends from Different Cultures
Here’s a shocker – you’ll probably meet other people just like yourself when you travel. And you’ll also probably meet people NOT like yourself when you travel. And that’s totally okay!
As you continue with your travels, you are going to meet people that you like a lot and people that you don’t like a lot. Your journey going abroad will bring these obstacles, but you will learn how to make friends with people from all over the world, many of which you might have not attempted to be friends with if you stayed at home.
You’ll learn different cultures and languages (especially if you’re in one of our Spanish countries), and those friends will be helpful as well in your journey as you learn to adjust to your solo travel life.
#6: You Will Learn How to Be Independent
If you haven’t figured it out by now, you will probably have to do everything on your own. Congrats! You’re officially “adulting”!
By all means, we encourage you to be as independent as possible. Not only will you master your adulting skills faster, but you will have a far better experience once you learn the ropes. And if you still need help, you can always ask your family (and your Adelante Abroad team) for some assistance. We’re always here to help and want to make this “adulting” abroad experience the best one ever.