7 Things I Wish I Did During My First International Travel

There wasn't a single regret in my spine when I first traveled internationally. As you might have read from my previous posts, it was an insanely blissful trip and one for the books. I'm definitely going to do it again in the future if time and budget permit.

Even though the trip was fun, it was also exhausting and there were things I wish I did or didn't do. It wasn't regret. I take it as something I have learned along the way so that next time when I travel in the same circumstance, I know what to do. I'd know better. And also maybe to give you an idea too? ;)

They say that experience is the best teacher. It's true! You will never truly know how it is unless you're subjected to a certain kind of situation. So during my first international travel, I wish I...

1. Took photos of people I met

I mentioned in my previous post that this is one thing I wish I really did. It didn't really occur to me that time. I just realized lately that I don't have photos of the people my friends and I met during our trip. The photos would have been a nice remembrance of the kind humans who helped us even though we didn't really know each other well. 

So the next time I travel, I'll be sure to have a selfie with the people I meet! Haha! ;) 

*Our tuktuk driver in Phnom Penh

2. Packed lighter

Cebu Pacific's allowable carry-on baggage allowance is just 7 kgs but it turned out that my backpack weighed around 8 kgs! The attendant said that they usually allow it if it's just over one kilo. Since it was my first time to travel abroad, I wasn't really sure what to expect. All I knew was that we're traveling for 10 days so I brought lots of clothes because I didn't like the idea of doing the laundry while traveling. Sheesh! 

It wasn't a good idea to over-pack. My bag was heavy and it made my back hurt. Considering that our trip had lots and lots of walking involved, I was surprised I didn't break a bone.. but I was also grateful (because I didn't break a bone, that is). I think I was just a little paranoid that I'd run out of clean clothes to wear. 

When I arrived home, I still had about 5 clean clothes left. Clean clothes that I never wore at all. Haha! So that totally means I did pack so much!

*Backpack + Sling bag + Camera + Neck Pillow

3.  Didn't worry too much about my tummy

I was totally torn. There's a part of my brain that always reminded me to be careful of what I'd eat. Our trip involved long bus rides and for one, I didn't want to be in a situation where I would have to endure tummy pain. Because I was worried sick of an upset tummy, I usually wouldn't eat breakfast whenever we had to travel for a long period or whenever we need to go somewhere a comfort room would be impossible to find. 

How to??? It's call of nature and it's you and you against the world.. and against all odds! One thing I learned about this though is to just stop thinking about it, breathe deeply, and stay calm. And a practical tip is to do your thing every morning (as my mom would always advise, but I don't always follow it, lol).

*Breakfast + Lunch

4. Looked for cheaper money exchange rate

When I'm too exhausted, I usually go for the easiest way out. When we arrived at Bangkok after an 8-hour bus ride, my backpack was even heavier than when we started. It was already our last stop so my bag was filled with treats for family & friends. I didn't want to walk farther anymore. 

We just looked for the nearest open money exchanger and I had my money exchanged there even with the steep exchange rate. It was really half of my money! 

When we arrived at Khaosan Road, there were many money exchangers that had better (cheaper) rates. So maybe next time, I should pack lighter so that I can walk a little farther to look for a cheaper rate. All circumstances are somehow connected! 

5. Shot more videos

When it comes to photos vs. videos, I would easily pick photos. During the whole trip, I only shot videos when we were at Angkor Wat. I realize now that it would have been more fun if I had lots of video clips from the beginning of our trip until the end. Even though I don't really create lots of vlogs, I find it so fun to watch travel videos again and again. 

I'd be sure to shoot more videos in my future trips! Shameless plug: I have a YouTube account: youtube.com/ReaAlducente07 -- hope you can subscribe (only if you like though) and I'd appreciate it. Thanks! ♥

6. Explored more during the last 12 hours of our trip 

Do you know what we did for the last few hours of our trip? We just stayed at the airport in Bangkok because we had nowhere to go. We already checked out from our hostel and so we had our heavy bags with us. Too heavy to lug around while walking. 

Since we didn't want to walk around anymore, we decided to just go directly to the airport and wait for our flight back home with 12 hours more at our disposal. Those were the times when we wished we were at Changi Airport in Singapore because for sure, we wouldn't run out of things to do.

I guess we were too tired that we just ate and slept at the airport. Occasionally, I'd check Facebook or Instagram.. and then I'd sleep again. 

7. Brought a different power bank 

I didn't know. Or I didn't really read about it. I brought with me my 11500 mAh power bank (worth Php 1600) and it went through NAIA (Manila) security without a hitch. But when we were going home from Bangkok, the airport security had to confiscate it because I couldn't check it in. I only had a carry-on backpack. 

The lady asked me what the power capacity of the power bank was but there was nothing written on the power bank itself. I told her that it was written on the packaging which I (obviously) didn't bring and wouldn't bring with me. So I had to leave my power bank in Bangkok! And would never ever get it back anymore.

I didn't even try to argue. Their country, their rules. Next time, I'll bring my Asus power bank because it has the power capacity written on its face, lol.

I've written so much about my first international travel and I think this is going to be the last about it (for now, haha!). As I said earlier, I'd do it all over again if given the chance. I'm inspired by this line of the latest book I've read...

"You can never visit the same place twice. Each time, it's a different story. By the very act of coming back, you wipe out what came before." - The Last Little Blue Envelope, Maureen Johnson

Did you ever look back once and say "I should have done that"? ;)

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