Going abroad is an experience that most people walk away from feeling grown up and independent. But have you ever thought about how you felt when you first arrived in that new country? Before you did all of this maturing abroad, you were likely stripped of your adulthood and left to feel like a helpless child.
Take a look at these ten ways traveling to a new country can make you feel like a kid again, and explore GoAbroad.com for thousands of opportunities for YOU to go abroad!
1. You're unable to speak
Not being able to communicate properly brings you back to infancy. If you're unfamiliar with the language, you usually find yourself playing charades or making strange noises when trying to tell locals what you need. Even if you've taken courses in the language, speaking it with locals can throw you for a loop. Slang and strong accents may leave you wondering if you're hearing the same language you spent five years studying.
2. You need to adjust to an eating schedule
You're still in infancy with this one. Many times when you travel abroad, you need to adjust to a new eating schedule. Maybe you're used to eating small lunches and large dinners, but the country you travel to eats large lunches and miniscule dinners. Now you've reverted back to the hungry, crying baby who doesn't understand why eating at 2 a.m. isn't practical.
3. You take naps
Many countries abide by the tradition of taking afternoon naps (score!). If you're lucky enough to be studying or volunteering abroad in one of these nations, you can relive your toddler days by snoozing after lunch. Or if you're a college student, you may already be taking one or several naps each day.
4. You don't know basic manners
You have become the small child who blurts out whatever he's thinking and doesn't understand what a personal bubble is. When traveling to a new destination, it can take a while to learn what is offensive and what is acceptable in that culture. You may need a few reminders while adjusting to a new way of behaving.
5. You don't understand the culture
What is Hanukkah? Why do we have Easter? What does the queen do? You are that little child who has a question for everything as you try to learn about a new country's culture. Even if you've done your research or had classes on your study abroad destination before you arrived, you'll still be curious to learn more about the traditions and culture of your host country.
6. You're forced to try new foods
When you travel you're introduced to a new wold of foods. While you're abroad, you'll need to try different meals and specialties even if you think they look yucky. Sound familiar? Maybe it brings you back to the younger you who refused to eat anything green. Hopefully you've become more open-minded when it comes to new cuisines.
7. You struggle with reading and writing
If you're unfamiliar with the language spoken in your travel destination, reading and writing will be a struggle at first. Welcome to your first year of school, again. Keep your chin up and don't stop trying! Soon you'll be able to go to the grocery store and actually know what you're buying.
8. You can't tell time
Hopefully you won't need to learn what the difference between the big hand and the little hand is, but the numbers might be confusing. If you study or intern abroad in a country that uses military time but you're used to a 24-hour clock, it may take a little while to adjust. Choosing a movie time may take more thinking than usual.
9. You need to make friends
Making friends is something we get to do throughout our lives. But finding friends in an unfamiliar place where you don't know anyone might bring you back to your first day of school. Sometimes making friends is easy, but other times it might remind you of the most awkward time of your life: Middle school. Trying to befriend locals can be reminiscent of trying to become part of a middle school click, depending on where your travels take you. But like mom always said, just remain positive and be yourself!
10. You can't drive
When traveling abroad you need to rely on public transportation if you want to go anywhere. Just like before you got your driver's license, everything needs to be planned ahead of time if you don't want to be late. At least you don't have to ask your parents for a ride.
How has traveling made you feel younger? Share you stories in the comments below!