Details, details…

One of the details of travel is what to do about your phone? Not all phones are set up for international calls; find out if your plan allows international calling, and how much it will cost before you go, so as to avoid the unexpected shock of your phone bill when you return

I’ve been thinking about bravery the past few days, mostly because one or two people have said to me, when I tell them that I’m leaving soon and where I’m going, how ‘brave’ I am.

I would say that rather than being or feeling particularly brave, what’s happened is that I have embraced what probably is pretty scary: independence. During the past few years, through a fair amount of tears and home sickness, I’ve taught myself, step-by-step, how to get off my couch and get on a plane and go see the world.

At first it was somewhat difficult. One of the things that feels overwhelming (and put me in a bad mood a lot of the time) are all the decisions you must make if you’re going to do this—airline, hotel, what to do, for how many days? When you travel by yourself, there are a lot of mistakes you can make very easily, simply because there are so many details to take into account.

Well, not ALL of it

I’d say the hardest part of traveling by yourself, the part that’s the ‘scariest’, if you will, is being alone when you don’t know the language, but there are ways around that problem. You don’t have to take years of courses to learn the basic phrases you’re going to need. I bought a small Swedish-to-English dictionary, and spend a lot of time deciphering vocabulary words and learning short sentences.

One small (and practical) suggestion I can make is to get an international phone. I have a Mobal ‘world’ phone, which is actually my second one, since I lost the first one on a trip to China. I was charging my phone prior to packing it, and that made me think about how something that makes your traveling easier also makes you feel more confident.

Because I don’t travel consistently, I did not want to buy a plan for my phone at home, incurring ongoing charges. The Mobal phone only charges you when you actually use it, which is something I really like. Their calling rates are not particularly cheap, but I don’t use it very often, so it’s definitely less expensive than paying monthly for a plan on your home phone. You buy the Mobal phone for a one-time fee, set it up, and then use it only when you need it.

I need my travel options to be as simple as possible, and work well, because I can be very scattered when I’m on the road, and feeling overwhelmed is an unpleasant way to travel. Having certain ‘tools,’ like an international phone, that make travel easier means I can feel less nervous and more self-assured (all part of appearing—or being—’brave’). 

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