“Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
As a language student, I have recently had more opportunities to visit new countries. Going abroad has always been an exciting experience for me but I recently realised that there are a few things I can do to get the most out my trips…
1. Learn the language
If you’re in a non-English speaking country, learn as much of the language as you can. I have always enjoyed learning new languages and therefore make an effort to speak the language of a new country when I go abroad. Few English speakers make much effort to learn new languages, so you’d be surprised how many people are pleased to hear you speak their language abroad, even if you don’t do it well. It does take courage but it is so rewarding and encouraging when you’re understood.
2. Try trips alone
Whether you organise a complete solo trip or take an hour out of a group holiday to explore an area alone, solo adventures can be so much fun. This year I went to Germany with my sister but I also took a couple of trips alone to different German towns. When travelling alone, you are completely free from distractions and you can take time to fully appreciate the beauty of the country you’re in. You may even end up making friends with other solo travellers.
I’m a Christian which means Jesus plays a big role in my life. I therefore love to involve him with my travels. When my sister and I were in Germany this summer, we decided to pray every morning for a safe, fun and hiccup-free day! It was amazing to see how God answered our prayers. On the way there we had a mix up with the trains and couldn’t get our train to the airport. We eventually found a coach going to the airport, explained our situation to the driver and he let us on for free!
Every single day in Germany we had conversations with so many friendly and sincere people who made a lot of effort to help us out when we were lost or confused. Praying whilst travelling makes me feel so much calmer for I know that my day is in God’s hands.
4. Visit a church in the area
I usually go to church in the UK but I have found that it is so interesting to go to a church service abroad. I visited churches when I was away in Portugal, Germany and Moldova and seeing people worship God in another language was a great reminder that Christianity is a global religion and we worship the same God all over the world.