While studying abroad can be scary, some things should come easy

A person can’t easily overcome their fears of leaving home, and/or the feeling of missing their own bed, but they can mitigate a substantial amount of fear of the unknown. 

Your bags are packed, loaded into the car, and you’re just gathering up and inventorying the rest of your things. Passport, check. International license, check. Pocket translator, check. You jump into the car, and off you go, heading to the airport to board a plane, which will take you to your first experience away from home, and in a foreign country at that. Mom is nervous, dad is nervous, but neither of them quite as nervous as you, the one who in a matter of hours will be completely out of your element. It’s an adventurous feeling for many, yet statistics show that for many more, study abroad programs are nerve wracking for students. Fears range from language barriers and homesickness, to what to do if they become sick and how will they get around.

There are many variables that can stress out a student who is traveling abroad for a semester, but some things really should just come easy. When the decision to go to a foreign country for school is made, it is made based on the hope and assumption that the experience will be a rewarding and adventurous one, where the student can meet new people, add to their academic progression, experience a new culture, try a different cuisine, and show all of their friends back home what a fantastic time they are having while away; something that will make those friends both envious and in aw. Yet, underneath it all, sometimes the level of comfort really is not fully present, as certainty and self-confidence wane from within.

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Leaving home for any extended period of time while young can be a frightening thing; we all know that. But while there are some things that remain uncertain–and will be scary to a young traveler–preparedness at its best will help to set a limit on those fears. In an attempt to create a service that allows all travelers to plan their travel like a professional, Planiversity.com is thinking ahead, and soon we may be developing an option for creating a student account, in addition to both individual or business.

“There are many variables that can stress out a student who is traveling abroad for a semester, but some things really should just come easy.”

At present, the service does well to organize documentation, while providing users the option to create a schedule, add notes, and something very relevant to the student, we enable filters into the trip packet, allowing them to pinpoint a destination in their travel, and locate resources within whatever proximity they set around it. For example, users can set their location, and know where hospitals, police stations, hotels, service stations, and even their embassy is, within that chosen radius. All of this, combined with the option to include maps, driving directions, arrival weather, and receive a U.S. State Department travel advisory makes this service ideal for the first time traveler. A person can’t easily overcome their fears of leaving home, and/or the feeling of missing their own bed, but they can mitigate a substantial amount of fear of the unknown.

Planiversity isn’t just a service designed for travel agencies and event planners; it’s a travel software that can benefit all who are serious about planning. We may be a master itinerary service, but we’d rather see ourselves as a service providing a much needed and highly relevant tool for anyone on the go; no matter how far, no matter how long.

http://www.planiversity.com

“Winging it” doesn’t cut it

“The best that a traveler can do to eliminate the potential for stress is ensure that they’ve done the best that they can to prepare for the trip.”

Tasked by time constraints, moving with the lines, travel requirements and personal needs, whilst attempting to pull last-minute information together, there are always some who fail to prepare, although knowing that doing so will make things flow smoother. It is a time-consuming process to sift through information, pull out what’s essential, and organize it all; but it’s repeatedly done because that’s mostly what travelers know best. Yet there are many who know to anticipate what’s coming, because they know that when they’ve  consolidated and prepared, they’re ahead of the game.

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In 2012, authors John Crotts and Anita Zehrer published a book titled, ‘An Explanatory Study of Vacation Stress,’ identifying through analysis where in travel the greatest areas of stress originate. This publication quickly became furthered by independent travel bloggers and online influencers since. To echo an article published in 2016 by an independent online travel influencer, about those surveyed in the making of the book, “The participants reported that the most stressful part of their trip was actually the trip planning stage, followed by traveling to the destination, and finally the actual stay at the destination(s).” The author also writes, “The most stressful part, which many people may not anticipate, begins before they even leave their homes in the planning stage.” Makes sense…

Uninformed, ill-prepared, and behind schedule; there’s no need for it. While there are just some circumstances out of our control, most travel stress we bring on ourselves. I’ve been there. I’ve been the guy who digs through his email to find the e-boarding pass two minutes before boarding, who has his itinerary somewhere else, and who is attempting to book a rental car on his phone, while clinging to the last few minutes of free airport WiFi in a foreign country. I can confidently say, to start right reduces a significant amount of stress, anxiety, and confusion. However, I had to know what wrong looked and felt like before fully developing an appreciation for right.

“When one knows what to expect, they keep circumstances within, or close to within their control.”

Time management is usually within our control, and so is planning. The best that a traveler can do to eliminate the potential for stress is ensure that they’ve done the best that they can to prepare for the trip, as well as prepare for the unexpected. Let go of the winging it, even if you think ‘winging it’ will reduce the amount of stress. Some people think that planning leads to expectation (and it does) and when expectation fails, they are forced to deal with stress and adapt. But studies show that the more prepared a person is, the less they are likely to experience stress; that can be applied to almost anything.

Admittingly, there is some adventure in just going where the wind takes you, but that isn’t something that can easily be embraced by the many travelers working on a timeline, traveling for business, or going somewhere for a purpose. When one knows what to expect, they keep circumstances within, or close to within their control. When the choice to forego preparation is made, and impromptu decision-making valued, it should not be a surprise when frustration creeps in. Take the time the plan in advance, have your ducks in a row, consolidate your information, and know where things are.

Check us out at https://www.planiversity.com

Like anything, experience has to be earned.

It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with survival and comfort, I want to know more.”

Experience changes an individual, often for the better and in permanent ways. So why should it not be fought for, sweat for, bank breaking for, and earned? Many believe that the best things in life are free; that’s true if those things are air, sun, and a view of the stars at night. But in reality, most things today are not free. Not the water we drink, nor the resources we depend on, the grass that we walk on, and even falling in love; it all has a cost. And with the exception of love, those things just sustain, not change us.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~ Helen Keller

photo of woman
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, where are we with experiences? Stagnation is a sad reality, but growth through learning about more than we are, seeing more than we know, and pondering more than we commonly conceive is priceless…I’d say. Therefore, the best way to learn, see, and conceive more is through experience, and that is what travelling is best for. To be clear, a person does not have to jump on a plane and fly halfway around the world in order to feel like they are legitimately traveling; a neighboring state will do just fine. Although, an opportunity to experience the way a foreign culture lives can promote tremendous perspective in all of us.

Logically speaking, its not the actual experience that brings anyone change. Instead, it is the result of an experience that yields the high returns. The actions–our experiences– those are just the means; the vehicle, if you will. But the result, the facilitator of change in all of us, that must be earned. And the cost…not always a financial dilemma. Rather, the cost of change (of experience) is fortitude; its facing a fear of the unknown, stepping outside the comfort zone, and taking away the most comfortable aspect in our lives, and that is control. Without control a person is powerless, and vulnerability is the absence of control, something travel presents an abundance of.

According to multiple sources, common reasons for avoiding traveling include the following: no one to travel with, can’t afford it, the element of danger out there, a lack of time and vacation days, language barrier, logistical nightmares, and germs (LOL). What these reasons all boil down to is a lack of resourcefulness and/or fear. Overcoming a fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of leaving the comfort zone, it’s not what we are designed to endure. Our brains are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; keep us alive. A desire…that goes beyond survival. It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with familiarity and comfort, I want to know and see more.”

Like most things in life that aren’t handed to us, we need to earn it. We need to put in, in order to be able to take out something in return. Experiences make a person grow. They formulate differing perspectives, intelligence, understanding, and debate. If you want the experience, you aren’t going to have it given to you. To learn about the world you don’t know, you will have to take yourself from the one you do. And it will cost. It will make you nervous, intimidated, and timid, until you return home a different person than the one who left. OF COURSE it comes with a cost, but almost anything worthwhile does, so you have to make the effort to be someone other than the person in you who refuses to change. You have to actually try, and want to be and know more. Jim Rohn once said, “if you think trying is hard, wait until you get the bill for not trying.”

So, if you want to know what the cost of experience is, it’s life as you know it. And whether a person chooses to experience all that life has to offer or not, they should know that they will pay in any case. Pay for the experiences now, or pay for the regret later. It’s something to think about.