Make sure to look that up before...
The usual checklist before traveling adjusts a bit when going to a foreign country. Moreso, the more you travel the smaller the checklist becomes. Have you been surprised while overseas or wish you had looked more information up before leaving?
My checklist before leaving.
- Passport, make sure I don't need a visa.
- Order Currency, check fees for using Debit/Credit Card while abroad
- Book flights, Airbnb, and check for nearby activities.
Pretty normal stuff, but there a few items on the list that I wish I had paid more attention too. Now that I've been there, I know a better, and not all advice is created equal.
There are plenty of youtube travelers that have a suggestion or two. I wish I had listened more.
Amazed at how much French you wish you remember and how much you do.
Did you take French in college or high school? I did and I learned how to say three phrases very well. Speaking was always a challenge, but understanding another person was more so.
I struggle with accents.
Even in Brazil, if my family members try to speak English to me I rarely understand them. My father, however, understands broken English well. I am always in awe of how much he understood.
It's probably because he speaks with a heavy accent as well. All that to say while navigating along the streets of France.
The following words would have been helpful to know.
- Stay here?
- Wait here or there?
- East, West, north, south
- Letters, numbers, and fruit names
- Prime colors
You don't realize how tough it is to order food until you have too with a menu that isn't in your native tongue. Also, asking for direction isn't tough. Understanding the directions given is a whole other story.
Rule of thumb, walk towards the general direction pointed too. Then ask someone else. I was taken back by how friendly the French were.
The best phrases that I remembered while in France was, Bonjour parle anglais?
Some strangers, when I said hello wanted to start a conversation. I had to learn to ask my question right after my greeting.
The fear of them asking me something.
I would have loved to chat. My vocabulary wouldn't allow for it. I really wish I had spent more time learning the language.
One can become fluent when completely embarrassed in the culture as they say. I felt this to be true while in France. All that to say while navigating through the streets of France.
The following phrases would have been helpful to know.
More so, it would have been helpful to know when people answered these questions.
- Do you have sweet wine?
- Which wine is the sweetest?
- We are going to change our order.
- What time do you open?
- Are these fresh?
- What time do you close?
- When do you serve lunch/dinner?
Sometimes they understood more English than they spoke. It came a time where we just had to point, look puzzled, and trust.
Trust that whatever came would be enjoyable. Google translate was a huge help. The quality of the translation was a bit off at times.
Especially with phrases, but the general idea was there. It was spot on with simple one-word translation.
Make sure to download google languages offline, it was a huge help.
Plus, Google has a feature that if you turn your camera on it will translate words or phrases. Isn't always acquired, but very helpful when looking at menus or maps.
I've mentioned to you before if you knew about registered travelers when I was stopped at the border in London.
That wasn't a big deal, but I am sure in other countries it might be.
What about you?
What do you wish you knew before traveling? Take less money, take more money? Buy the insurance, upgrade your plane ticket, learn more of the language, or anything else?
I didn't take enough money to London. I also didn't realize it would be more fun to shop there than in France. More expensive too.
Thanks for reading, upvoting, and commenting!