SURVIVING THE INTERNATIONAL UNKNOWN – 1. TAKE A BREATH

            As you begin your planning for your first trip to Kenya, or to any country for that matter, there are likely hundreds of questions running through your mind:  What will I see?  How will I do ‘this’?  Should I bring ‘this’?  Don’t worry, these thoughts are only natural.  If you did not have these thoughts prior to your first venture to a foreign country I’d be worried for you.  Despite traveling to a fair number of countries myself, I still find myself lying in bed, wide awake, in the days prior to departure, contemplating what might be in store for me.  So, let me try to dispel some of these worries with my 5 tips for any future traveler.

 Take a Breath

 So, it’s just days before your light and you find yourself pacing back and forth in front of your house after everyone else has fallen asleep.  Your mind is racing with a million questions.  As you search for answers you are acutely aware that more questions are emerging, and with time relentlessly drawing you to your scheduled flight the pressure continues to build.

Just stop… and breathe!  These worries are only natural, but also understand that everything will be ok.  I repeat:  Everything will be ok!  Accept that yes, you will forget something.  There is very little that you can do about that.  Luckily though, chances are that it won’t be anything important.  Do you really need that 4th pair of pants?  Probably not.  However, even if it turns out that you do, rest assured that every major city these days has a place where you can buy pants, as well as anything else you could ever need. 

There is essentially only three things that you must make sure you have before you travel:  your passport, money, and a supply of necessary medication.  Everything else can be found somewhere in your new city/destination.  And just think of how much your friends and family will enjoy your story of the time you had to search the streets of Nairobi just to find a new pair of underwear!

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