Travelling is not easy; especially when machines that are meant to fly in the sky are involved! All the anxiety that comes with international travel, even if you have taken good airport assistance, does not go away easily. Why? Because we are not inherently programmed to fly and travel thousands of miles in one stretch! Yet, like every single human endeavour – we should proceed with pride.
If you are flying to your destination, there are hardly any chances of deviations. That said – flights often do get delayed or cancelled, even on connecting airports. Thus, all your meticulous planning will come crumbling down, if the universe and randomness play against you.
Thus, start planning for your journey as early as possible. In your plan, make sure you have enough margin for error at the beginning, during and at the end of your journey. Also, always carry an extra pouch with copies of your identity documents, some extra cash, an earphone and a neck pillow.
If you are travelling to North America, you can work with English almost anywhere. That said, if your itinerary includes even a connecting flight – you should prepare some phrases that may help you in an emergency situation. Some common phrases are – ‘where is the washroom’, ‘what is the emergency number’ and ‘where can I find a taxi/local transport’?
Mind well – there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. But one thing is for sure – introversion is very situation specific. It is always recommended that you seem like an approachable (read ‘safe’) person, when you are travelling internationally. In order to be more outgoing, you will have to pay attention to details such as who is sitting next to you and how can you start a conversation with her/him. This will help you in meeting locals and free up your mind from any possible social anxiety you may otherwise experience. The trick that works here is you try to find some common grounds, such as the destination, and then ask for advice stating you’re going there for the first time, either as a traveller or a student. Ask with a smile and a ‘please’ and most people will be happy to help you!