an international quickie

due to the enormity of yesterday’s post, today’s is going to be a little blip. a quick note to say i’ve gotten the go ahead to travel to italy for work. on one hand, i’m really excited, thrilled, ecstatic, happy. on the other hand, i’m terrified, petrified, and potentially about to pee my pants. why? i’m horrible at directions. i get lost in my own neighborhood. daily. i don’t speak italian. i look american. and i am traveling alone.

the alone part is what freaks me out the most. if i had a traveling companion, this wouldn’t even be an issue. but, as is my lot in life of late, i’m going it alone. i don’t mean to sound whiny, i’m just stating the facts.

which is where YOU come in. basically, i’m using this post to serve as a sounding board for solo international travel advice. please offer up any thoughts, tips, tricks, things to do, say,  avoid, etc. etc.  because while there, i’d love to look like this:

rather than this:

because i will be alone (and therefore can’t accept any ACTIONS of support [in the form of hugs, a partner in crime or you sitting next to me on the plane, in the coffee shop, drinking the vino with me]), i need you to supply the WORDS of support. dear readers, will you help?

6 thoughts on “an international quickie”

  1. Well, my one piece of international travel advice is to go Carry On Only. When you’re lost, it helps if you have just ONE bag to lug around, rather than a heap!

    And I’m jealous! And happy for you! And take loads of pix! And give us more details!

    1. yes, carry on is what i had planned to do. of course, it’s easy to say that now before i’m in the midst of packing! but you’re right, when i do get lost (it’s bound to happen) only having one bag will be the best thing in that situation.


  2. First of all, breathe.

    You know, Italy has a huge tourism industry. That means Italians are very well equipped to deal with lost, non-Italian-speaking people. I’d wager the vast majority of Italians are also friendly, so I don’t think you’ll have a bit of trouble getting around. :)

    1. i know, breathe in, breathe out. i’m going to have to remind myself to do that a lot.

      and see? your words are so logical and calm and valid. i should print them out and paste them to my forehead so that when i get nervous, all i have to do is look in the mirror. and your words will be backwards. and it’ll take me all sorts of time to figure out what it says, and in the meantime, i will have stopped freaking out.

      but seriously, thank you. a calming presence is what i need right about now.

  3. This is awesome news, Abby!! Ditto what Linda G said.

    Er, I’d avoid jogging shoes. They scream American tourist.
    Try to speak Italian even though they’ll know you’re American the moment they even smell you. It’ll endear you to them, for serious.
    Oh, prep notecards with phrases/questions you know you’ll ask (i.e. bathroom, where’s my hotel, how much does that cost, can you recommend a wine to go with my sumtuous meal, etc) so that when you’re out and about, you can just pop it out for them to read.
    Ummmmmmm, have fun? Wow I’m not helpful, am I?

    1. note cards! that’s genius. i am so totally doing that.

      and yes, jogging shoes/running shoes/sneakers will not find a place in my carry-on luggage. i at least know enough to know that. but thanks for the reinforcement!

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