5 Items You Need In Your Carry-On

Your big trip is right around the corner and you’re trying to decide between what’s important enough for you to carry on the plane and what should be checked. Well, I’m here to help. A carry-on is a regulated bag that airlines let you bring onto the cabin. Each airline has different restrictions so it’s important for you to check out the guidelines for the one you’re flying with. (If you’re curious about which bag is best for your trip, check out Inevitably Elsewhere’s informative post here)

So, what are the most important items that you need to pack in your Carry-on? Here are a few that I believe are musts:1. Stick to your own kind-2Basically, these include anything that you don’t want to lose. Electronics, jewelry, or other expensive items should be packed in your carry-on. Unfortunately, checking your luggage can be incredibly problematic due to the way airlines handle it all. Not to scare you or anything, but keep this in consideration to remain on the safe side.  1. Stick to your own kind-4I.D’s, passports, and flight tickets should be on your person to avoid the chances that they get misplaced or stolen. What you can do is make photocopies of each and stow them away in checked luggage in case something happens to your carry-on.1. Stick to your own kind-5Portable chargers are incredibly convenient when flying for long periods of time. Especially if you’re flying economy where shared outlets are the norm. Most planes offer places to charge your various electronics, but having your own to charge more than one device at a time is better. Also, don’t forget to bring all necessary cords along with you.

I use the Anker Powercore since it’s a powerful, reliable, mobile charging bank.1. Stick to your own kind-6The worst feeling is arriving to your destination all grungy and soiled. Keep in mind that you don’t need to pack an entire outfit; however, a change of underwear and a new shirt should make you feel refreshed after a long flight. Additionally, you may want to opt for an extra pair of socks if you’re prone to sweating down there. 1. Stick to your own kind-7You want to check with your airlines first to see what their guidelines are for toiletries. At the very least, travel-sized deodorant, toothbrush, and toothpaste should be enough. If you lose your luggage, you’re equipped with the bare necessities.1. Stick to your own kind-8This one is important. All medicine should be in their original packaging and you should bring ALL of it with you. Don’t just bring enough to last you for a day because, again, you won’t know the fate of your checked luggage. If you have liquid medication make sure you get a doctor’s not to avoid problems.

What are some items that you can’t do without during a flght? I’m curious, let me know in the comments!

Confession Time: Everything Sucks

giphy

Alright, my title is a little dramatic, but these past few weeks have been pretty rough.

A lot of people have been asking me how excited I am for my adventure to China. The fact of the matter is that I am excited, but I’m also scared as hell. Six months is an incredibly long time away from home and I do worry; however, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m allowed to obsess, worry, fret, and panic. We’re talking half-a-year away from family, friends, and the daily routine that I’m accustomed to. It’s only natural for me to freak out about the prospect of “change” right? I’m asking honestly, I need opinions, people.

As my trip inches closer, it seems like I’m faced with new obstacles I have to overcome all of a sudden. I’m currently stressing over the last minute details I have to get in order before I embark overseas. Additionally, the pressures of this school-quarter are finally starting to take their toll on me. I’m trying hard to finish up strong but, ya know, the chances of that are pretty slim. What sucks is that none of these problems are related to my co-op abroad. It’s just that life’s other responsibilities have decided to hit me all at once, at this exact moment in my life, which is so rude to be honest.

Despite the fear that I have about going far away, I feel like it beats whatever is going on where I am now. Any flight-related anxieties are currently being trumped by my ill feelings towards this term. I have no idea who told me that I could juggle a theory course, an ethics lecture, and an economics class together because I can’t. Ugh, why did I do that to myself? I just have to get through these last two weeks and then I can chill out a bit . . . for the most part.

China better be great or so help me.

Stay tuned for my next exaggerated meltdown.

How to . . .

how-to-get-over-your-fear-of-flying-3

Alright, so you want to travel. I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve established that so far. You’ve convinced yourself that you need to experience the world and everything it has to offer, but you just have one little problem. Actually, “little” is an understatement. It’s the only thing separating you from your destination – your fear of flying.

The only thing worse than having a dream is having an irrational obstacle holding you back from it. Like  you, I am petrified of planes, but I’m not going to let that stop me. So, in order to combat this, I’ve compiled a list of the best ways to cope with a phobia of planes. I scoured the internet for this information and included my top picks:

  • Recite the facts

Nomadic Matt is a pretty famous travel blogger that is an excellent resource for tips on cheap travel. I was perusing his site and came across a post he wrote called, “Confession: I’m terrified of Flying”. In it, he provided three ways he copes while in the air. What does this experienced traveler do to ease his nerves? Well, one thing he does is recites the facts. Here’s one for you, courtesy of USA Today; planes are a lot safer than cars – you have a 1 in 98 chance of dying on the road compared to a 1 in 7,178 chance of dying in the air. Doesn’t sound very reassuring, I know, but you’re better off up in the sky. Take a look at the infographic in the sidebar to ease your mind a little more.

  • Value your flight

According to the AADA, “every flight provides you with the opportunity to make the next one easier.” Essentially, if you never allow yourself t
o experience flying then you can never overcome that fear. The more you fly, the less anxious you’ll become. This is probably good advice that can be applied to just about anything in your life

  • Tap through it

Here’s a suggestion from an article published on the Huffington Post that I found helpful. The author, Nick Ortner, mentions that tapping relieves your anxieties and makes it harder for you to store any additional stresses in-flight. It’s a technique that initially confused me. I embarrassingly thought that tapping literally meant, well, to “tap” with inanimate objects. Check out the Introduction to Tapping video to get a better understanding of how it works (something I probably should have done the first time).

  • Stay entertained

This one’s from me. It was the way I coped when I took my first plane-trip to Florida. I brought books, my laptop, and my cell-phone in the cabin with me all in attempt to keep me distracted. It worked. Normally, you are not allowed to have your electronic devices on during ascent, but once you’ve reached the correct altitude then it’s fair game. Some planes offer complementary WiFi while others have hourly fees. Some even provide free movies and what not. Just do everything you can to keep your mind off the whole flying thing if you need to.

Look, I understand; I really do. I wish there was another way to travel to a different country that didn’t involve flying. It’s doable though and we can get through this. Do you think any of these tips will help ease some of your worries? Let me know in the comments

5 signs you are NOT ready to go abroad

 

I’ve recently given you five factors that influenced my decision to work in China; however, the reality is that going abroad may not be for everyone… yet. Here are some signs that may indicate you’re not ready for this.

You should probably stay home if you:1-stick-to-your-own-kindIf everyone in your life belongs to a particular socio-economic class, religious affiliation, or ethnicity, it may be time to realize where your comfort zone is. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; sometimes certain circumstances impact whom you meet. However, be cognizant of your worldview. If you solely befriend other Americans in a foreign country then what’s the point of going?1-stick-to-your-own-kind-1College is a time where young people begin to transition—hopefully—into responsible adults. If your parents still schedule your doctors appointments, or remind you of other important life events, then maybe going overseas isn’t right for you yet. Give it a few more years until you can function comfortably on your own.1-stick-to-your-own-kind-3If your diet consists of waffles, sandwiches, and other American staples, it may be difficult for you to adjust to foreign cuisine. Other countries have different ideas of what they consider edible. For example, China is known to eat insects and sometimes they even eat seafood that’s still wiggling about. It’s especially disrespectful in some cultures to refuse food that has been served to you. Can you handle all of that?1-stick-to-your-own-kind-4As Americans, we do things a lot differently than everyone else. Some of our norms are completely unacceptable in other cultures. It is going to take a great deal of pre-departure research followed by restraint while you’re abroad. If you’re not willing to invest the time and effort needed to go to a different county, it may not be best for you to do so.1-stick-to-your-own-kind-8Sure, traveling may seem like an incredible vacation, but it should also serve as a meaningful, enlightening experience. If you don’t plan on fully immersing yourself in the culture, interacting with locals, and seeing your host country in all of its splendid glory, again, why even go? You should enjoy your time in every way that you can, but take advantage of this opportunity to broaden your horizons while learning about yourself.

Have these points given you something to think about? Let me know how you feel by leaving a comment.

I Spent The Summer With 400+ International Students

 

Last Summer, 2016, I had the privilege of working at the International House in Harrisburg. I met over 400 students from 13 different countries and loved every minute of it. It was an experience, to say the least. When you have a bunch of young adults living in the same quarters, things can get a little . . . well, hectic. Despite that, the internship solidified my interest in cultural exchange programs and reignited my desire to travel abroad.

All of the students were college-aged; the youngest of the bunch being 18 while the older ones topped out at 27. They were away from the pressures they faceduntitled-design-5 back home and in a country where no one knew them. This was the time to declare their independence, meet new people, and experience another way of life. Most of the students were placed at Hersheypark to work as ride operators and food clerks. My job was to act as a liasion between the employers and the foreigners. I basically ensured that they were following the rules and regulations set forth in their visas (fun, right?).

About every other week, the students would hold a presentation highlighting the culture of their country. They had photos, ethnic food, and even played popular music from their homeland. Somehow, some students managed to sneak alcohol into the venue. At least one student, during every presentation, would be found in the bathroom vomiting their guts out. It was usually one big party that everyone attended, even the community! I spoke to these young adults daily and would practically bother them with questions.

Untitled design (4).jpg

They came to America for an unforgettable Summer. They made new friends and learned more about a culture they’ve only seen portrayed in the media. When it was time for everyone to go back home, there were tears everywhere. It was a bittersweet moment for sure. They built strong relationships with each other over those three months together. It was understandable that they’d be upset.  I know I was. At the end of their programs, many of them swore that they would come back the following year. A lot of them even tried persuading me to come visit them over the winter break. I would have loved to in all honesty, but school would be in the way so I knew that could never happen.

By the time my internship ended, I was reminded just how much I wanted to travel to another country. Just the idea of failing to see what else the world had to offer frightened me. By working at the International House I was given a taste of what I was missing.

I started school again in the fall and was determined to make my dream of going abroad a reality, no matter what it took.
Have you ever had an enlightening experience that influenced a major decision in your life? Tell me about it in
the comments!

untitled-design-7

5 Reasons Why I’m Going Abroad and Why You Should too!

untitled-design-6

There are many reasons why a person chooses to visit or study in another country, but I have listed the five factors that had the biggest impact on my decision to go to Dalian, China:

  • It wasn’t as hard as I thought.

It took me several years to take advantage of the international programs that my school has to offer. Why? Well, I thought the process would be too tedious or competitive so I never bothered. Little did I know, the only thing I had to do was apply…it was really that simple.

  • My university is helping me pay for it.

Talk about an incentive! A lot of students don’t realize this, but your university wants you to travel more than you do. Check out your study abroad office and ask them about any incentive programs they have with certain countries. You’ll be surprised how many grants and other awards are out there. For example, my school gave students a lump sum amount if they committed to a position in China.

  • Who doesn’t want excitement and adventure?

The beauty of traveling to another country is experiencing everything it has to offer. Remember that excitement you felt as a child when you discovered something new for the first time? Yeah, multiply that excitement by 20, that should give you an idea of what you can expect to feel daily while you’re abroad.

  • The prospect of meeting new friends in foreign places.

Just think of all the cool and interesting people you’ll meet while you’re away. The prospect of forming international relationships I feel is the most attractive perk of going abroad.

  • Because if not now, when?

Like I’ve mentioned before, it took me several years to convince myself that it was time to see other parts of the world. Since this is my last in year school, I feared that I would not have access to the opportunities that college offers. Take advantage of the time you have now before you’re bogged down by the weight of the real world.

There you have it; these are my reasons for going abroad. Do any of them resonate with you. Let me know in the comments.