When you take a holiday, things are pretty simple – you pack what you need for the time you’re going, ask someone to check your mail, try to stuff your pillow in at the end, and head off. I never really appreciated how easy a weekend, or even few weeks away were, until I went travelling for multiple months.
So here’s 10 things you don’t think of that might pop up at some point during a long travel trip, that you don’t have to worry about for a quick getaway.
Winter in Australia is… well… somewhat mild compared to Austria. And while there are some absolutely freezing days in Melbourne, especially when there’s a cracker of an icy wind blowing, it’s definitely not on the same scale. So here are 10 things I never knew I’d have to learn about what a real winter involves.
I have a friend who is a seasoned solo traveller, and only recently embarked on her first group tour. While most people are anxious about the thought of travelling alone, she was more concerned about problems that might arise from being stuck in a group!
Group travel can be wonderful (Jorden/Syria/Turkey 2011… unforgettable), but it can also be challenging (Egypt 2011 shortly after the revolution). Whether you’re put in a group you feel you have nothing in common with, your roomie is particularly annoying, or when group dynamics just don’t work. Tours are the perfect solution for places that are a little more difficult to navigate, or if you just want guaranteed company. But they’re not always peachy. So here’s some tips on how to make the best of one.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is renowned as an international body builder, acclaimed actor and politician, but what you may not know is that he grew up in a very small village just outside Graz in Austria. So when I had a keen friend visiting from Australia, we decided to take a trip to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum.
When I first started learning German, naturally I did all kinds of Google searches on hints, tips and tricks to learning a language faster. There must be some kind of magic formula, I assumed, and if I could just unveil it, fluency would be mine!
Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there just isn’t. Sure, there’s plenty of ideas, but none of them take away from the fact that learning a language comes with hard work and practice.
One thing I came across a lot was so-called ‘fun’ and ‘easy’ ways to learn another language. I clung onto those with everything I had. Options like watching movies in a foreign language, reading local newspapers and listening to the local radio… sure these may sound like fun, but actually, they’re not.
Here’s why these methods are actually no fun at all, and up until now, have barely helped me.
I’ve visited Zagreb a couple of times before, but the most recent trip was to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. Not only was it great to have a few days away, it was a privilege to witness the cementing of another successful multi-country relationship! My cousin was born in New Zealand, but having a Swiss father meant he relocated there in his 20s, meeting his now-wife, and eventually moving to Croatia. It’s complicated but awesome that I have a relative that lives so close (only 2.5 hours away).
Another brilliant thing was that my Dad and two of my aunties also joined in the celebratory-travel-party from Australia. It made for a great time to catch up, speak English (and occasionally try to understand Swiss-German, courtesy of the Swiss side of the family) and relax.
Moving overseas is an adventure! But it is also a lengthy and difficult experience, and along with all the emotional ups and downs, there are plenty of annoyances and bureaucratic processes that you have to deal with, usually when you least expect them or have time to deal with them. This post might not be much fun, but if you want an idea of some of the more practical things you should try to do before you leave your home country, keep reading.