The 9 Mental Stages You’ll Experience Traveling Abroad

There is so much to do in preparation for your first time abroad. And of course, you’ll feel a wide range of emotions planning and creating your trip. Whether it’s the countless hours of planning, deciding what to pack, applying for a visa/passport, or researching your destination! It can be overwhelming but also so rewarding because being abroad for your first time is an experience you’ll never forget! Feelings of excitement, fear, anxiety, and the happiest you’ve ever felt are all ahead of you. This is a general life cycle of the 9 mental stages you’ll experience traveling abroad.

The 9 Mental Stages You’ll Experience Traveling Abroad

  • Anxious from all the research

It may be the hardest thing, but the best advice is to not have any expectations when going abroad. Researching what to do, eat, see, and visit beforehand can really increase your excitement and it should! However, not everything is how it may appear online.

  • “What did I get myself in to?”

When you step off the plane and the flight attendant speaks to you in another language, then you look up to read a sign and realize you are no longer in your home country you may think “What did I get myself into!?” This feeling will be prevalent for a week until you realize how awesome it is to explore the rest of the world.

  • I wish all my friends were here

You’ll see beautiful architecture, lands, gardens, people, and food that you have only ever dreamed of that you wish you could share with your friends and family. Thankfully we have Facebook and Snapchat for this! Sure you’ll miss your friends, but you’ll have plenty of great stories to share with them soon enough. And you can bet they will regret not being there with you!

  • Getting the hang of this

“Step aside, I know where I am!” (What you’ll say after you maneuver your way home from the city or a shop for the first time). Undeniably the best feeling when you no longer need the tourist city map or bus schedule. Yes, you will truly feel less like a tourist and more like a local.

  • How can I sell all of my things and live abroad?

You’re having so much fun and meeting so many cool people that you may contemplate how you can make this last forever. Secret is- you totally can! There are many ways to travel cheaply. We even have an entire blog series dedicated showing you tips for traveling abroad on a budget.


  • Misses first party at home and thinks “I am so homesick”

homesick travelMissing the first holiday, birthday, or big party back home is like a punch to the gut. Being abroad makes you realize how much you love your friends and family! Being homesick is normal, so don’t get bent out of shape about it just remember to be thankful for the experience! Everyone experiences it in one form of another. But recognizing that it’s normal will help you enjoy your moment in the present. Remember, you have your whole life to be ‘home’. Enjoy your first time abroad while you’re there!



  • I’m going to miss all my new friends

It seems once you finally get the hang of these new places that you have to leave it all again. Embrace every moment with these new friends and make meaningful relationships because they were such a vital role to your time abroad. Just like you missed your friends back home, you will miss these new friends too. But it’s never been easier to stay in touch, and now you’ll have new friends to visit in their home countries and cities! Embrace the distance and use it for your next trip traveling abroad.

  • You can’t make me leave!

It won’t take long until you feel right at home in your new country or city. Yes, believe it or not, you’ll feel like you never want to leave. Get ready to spend a lot of time researching visas and citizenship options. You will do just about anything to keep the good feelings alive. But remember, it’s all a part of the cycle of traveling abroad. You’ll soon be home planning your next trip overseas. And you may end up feeling many of the 9 mental stages you’ll experience traveling abroad all over again!