What I Learned From My First International Trip

Going to South America was:

  • My first international trip EVER (besides a visit to the Canadians neighbors when I was a baby)
  • My first big vacation with Michael
  • And my first time meeting his extended family

Here are the Dos and Don’ts that I learned.

Don’t share luggage
It’s a no for me. The only reason to share suitcases is so that you don’t have to lug it around. But let’s be real – Michael is obviously going to carry my suitcase for me. And my carry on. And my purse.
Do bring a laundry hamper
Stinky laundry just gets stinkier if it’s stuffed altogether in a small bag. Daiso has $1.50 thin foldable laundry baskets.

Don’t bring the Raybans
It’s a law of nature – anything expensive or that you would hate to lose WILL get lost or damaged in some way during travels. That’s just how it is.
Do get the knock off Raybans
No fear, these countries have counterfeit $4 Raybans so you can still stunt while protecting your eyeballs.

Don’t forget the shower flip flops
I forget these EVERY time I travel somewhere – so I am reminding both you and I. Old Navy sells flip flops for less than $3 if you want a pair to just bring then toss.
Do bring/get water sport shoes
If you have sensitive feet like me – these are NECESSARY! The beaches and rivers are BEAUTIFUL, but the bottoms are not so kind. Michael ripped open his toe at Playa Grande. Next time I will definitely buy water shoes so I can run freely.

Don’t drink the water
Not the water, not the juice, not the soups – not if its made using sink water. Luckily, most touristy places are aware and will prepare items with bottled water if you ask.
Do embrace the cold showers
There’s no hot water! But we’ve all heard of the benefits of cold showers so I took it on the chin and with a lot of dry shampoo.

Don’t forget the bug repellent
Definitely get an aerosol spray – Michael and I got this one. They said we would get eaten alive in Girardot, but we got away with barely any!
Do spray your bed
The only thing worse than getting bitten, is knowing that bugs are crawling over you and sucking on you in your sleep…!!

Don’t get stomach aches
I was eating Colombian baby beef everyday and that was messing with my digestion lol.
Do bring toilet paper
Toilet paper is freakin’ gold in some countries! When I first arrived to the Colombian airport, I noticed they didn’t have the toilet seat liner protectors. I shrugged it off as a one-time anomaly. Next bathroom – no toilet seat covers! Just a flushable bowl – time to engage those squatting muscles. Next bathroom – NO TOILET PAPER!! Sometimes they will sell you pieces of toilet paper…but it was that time of the month for your girl so a couple of squares of 1-ply was not going to cut it. The struggle was too real.

I’ll leave it on that note.

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