Being abroad is not like being at home. Things are similar, but just . . . different. When you’re abroad and out of your comfort zone, you will quickly notice that there is a huge list of things that change while traveling. Here’s a short list of some of the things we have noticed we need to get used to since we started traveling:
– Different Currencies –Most of Europe uses the Euro, but some European countries change up the currency. In the UK, they have the Pound Sterling, some other examples are when we visited the Blue Lagoon we picked up some Icelandic Króna, then for our few days in Copenhagen we took out some Danish Krone, and the Swiss have their Franc, etc. You can’t use one country’s currency in another, and will need to figure out how to exchange one for another.
– A new language you may not be familiar with — This is probably the first thing many people think of when they think about the obstacles of traveling. Some languages, as we are finding with Dutch, are intuitive, and after a few weeks we are surprised how much we have picked up. I’m sure some other languages — especially those that use different alphabets — are much more difficult.
– Temperatures in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit — We are definitely still getting used to this. The difference between 10 degrees and 20 degrees in Celsius is HUGE compared to the difference between the same degrees in Fahrenheit.
– 12-hour vs. 24-hour time — Not too difficult to pick up, but seeing 15:11 on the clock still requires a quick translation sometimes.
– Time zone differences — When trying to schedule times to talk with friends and family (or job interviews with companies based elsewhere!), it’s definitely something you need to consider!
– Date formats — What date is 11/10/2014? In most of the world, the format day/month/year is used, instead of the month/day/year we are used to seeing in the U.S. Some places in Asia use year/month/day!
– Clothing and shoe sizes – This may be a point that is often overlooked. If you wear a Men’s size 11 shoe in the US, in the U.K. you wear a 10.5, and in Europe, you wear a 45! If you wear a women’s size 8 jacket in the U.S., you may find in Europe you wear a size 38.
– Imperial vs. metric – Specifically for distances, this can be difficult to wrap your head around. We don’t have a car, so the mph/kph thing has not really affected us yet. Speaking to locals and translating from Miles to Kilometers can be challenging, though!
Phew! That was a lot to go through, so many changes when traveling, and those were just the first few things that came to our minds. As you can see, those are mostly just the technical and practical things. What changes do you think about when you think of going abroad?