When I think about first international travel, over-preparation comes to my mind. It’s because the excitement and curiosity collide when it’s our first time to try new things. But for me who tends to forget little details, it’s totally obvious that during my first time abroad, I still get some lapses and oops during the preparation phase.

These lapses and oops are actually not helpful. I was annoyed and stressed and I wasted my time because I did not manage to do a little search on my end. Laziness has its own downside I tell you. But because we learn from experience, it is still good to have some stupidity. Believe me, it is okay, especially if it’s for the first time. The second time, you still have a chance. Second chances are acceptable but for the third time? Well, welcome to the club!

I would love to have more people in this club and celebrate a lot of welcome parties, but my good side is saying that I don’t want you to suffer. So, I would like to share with you my list of the things I should have done before my first international travel and some stories of the effects of the specific causes.

Things I should have done before my International Travel

Cause: Did not check the weather forecast

Effect: Went outside freezing only wearing three layers including my underwear!

Before my travel to Hong Kong, some of my teammates from Manila went there just a week before my travel date. I did ask them how the weather was in Hong Kong. They said it’s cold, maybe just like Baguio. Thinking it might be just as cold as the office, maybe around 16-19 degrees. Because the fact is, I’ve never been to Baguio, how am I supposed to know how cold Baguio is?

I did ask, but I never searched about the weather myself. Even if I did, I think I still can’t figure out the difference between 10 degrees and 16 degrees since I haven’t experienced cold weather before. I just kept on assuming that it was okay, it would not be that cold since summer is coming. The Heck! I bought a new jacket for the travel, but it was useless. Haha.

Good thing, my boyfriend’s brother is based in Hong Kong and he let us borrow his jackets.

Cause: Did not memorize my passport details

Effect: Always have to get my passport from my bag and it is very inconvenient.

Believe me when I say this is a must. It’s very convenient to memorize such details since you will be writing those in each document you’re required to do when out of the country. From the airport until you land. Also, when you cross to another country like we did from Hong Kong to Macau.

The Cause and Effect of the Things I Should Have Done Before My International Travel 1

Cause: Did not search on how to get to our accommodation

Effect: Wasted our time to get to our accommodation

Please don’t scold me for forgetting important things like this. The thing is we stayed at my boyfriend’s brother, who is currently living in Hong Kong. I assumed (again) that he would do the task, and for the record, he failed. Luckily, I bought a SIM card and the airport using Klook and contacted his brother on our way to settle on his flat. It’s so nice of him to meet us and accompany us to his crib.

Cause: Did not try enough to learn basic phrases

Effect: Doing a lot of charades and failed

I was relying on my boyfriend to cover this part. I keep on telling him I will fail in this department pronouncing difficult Cantonese words. Laziness strikes again. And so, it was difficult to communicate. I think if I just learn the basic phrase like thank you and excuse me it will make a difference.

Also, learning the numbers will help. One time we loaded our Octopus Card in a convenience store and I gave her HK$20.00. The teller couldn’t speak English and just told us HK$50.00 in Cantonese and did some gestures that said no. How am I supposed to understand that?? And so my boyfriend got the point as he heard the word 50 in Cantonese. Whew! It only means that a minimum of HK$50.00 can be loaded to the Octopus Card.

The Cause and Effect of the Things I Should Have Done Before My International Travel 2

Cause: Did not bother to search for some foods to try

Effect: Wasting money for food we did not like (out of budget)

Aside from the known food to try like egg waffles and chicken feet. I never bother to search for any food in Hong Kong. I thought I could just survive pointing the food and just try it. I won’t say it is bad to have a fun experiment, but it is not good to waste money on things you don’t like especially when you’re on a budget like me.

In every restaurant we ate at, we just kept on looking at the photos and pointing out and just try if it was good. Though some of the food is in the Philippines, we still have bad choices that end up wasting the food because we don’t like it.

Cause: Did not bring Medicines

Effect: Hard time to buy some medicines.

We all hope that we will not get sick while travelling especially if it is only a week or less. But, unexpected things do happen. Hernan got sick. I know some will just say that you can buy these things while you’re in that country but it will eat some of your time. In our experience, we looked for stores to buy some medicines which is again a waste of time, luckily the pharmacist knew how to speak English and understood what we wanted to buy.

Also, do you remember about the weather? Yeah, I got cold during our visit to Hong Kong and because I got it two days before our flight, I did not bother to look for another drugstore to buy meds for my cold.

The Cause and Effect of the Things I Should Have Done Before My International Travel 3

Cause: Did not bring a small bag

Effect: VERY inconvenient to ask, get, and return things from someone’s bag.

I think this is the worst time that I forget to bring a small bag with me. I am not comfortable walking without a bag. I like to carry a small bag with my essential things with me. ALL. THE. TIME. But guess what? I forget to bring one on my first international travel. Boohoo.

It was a disaster since I had to put my things in Hernan’s bag and every time I needed something, I needed to tap him and he would get the bag and I would get the thing I needed. Press repeat. Can you imagine the inconvenience?

Cause: Did not separate some cash for Pasalubong

Effect: The budget got ruined and tipid (thrifty) mode on

Pasalubong is a term we use in Filipino to bring some gifts or souvenirs from the place we went to people back home.

I never thought that my pasalubongs would cost a lot of money. I just thought I would have a lot of extra cash from my budget and spend it to bring some things to my family, workmates, and friends. It turned out that, I bought pasalubong first then spent the extra cash for my travels. Hahaha.

Cause: Did not buy an international adapter

Effect: Did a little ninja move to save my battery’s life

To tell you the truth, I’ve been planning to buy one but never I did. And I never thought that Hong Kong would have a different one. To my surprise when we got to our place, the electronic outlet was different. How am I supposed to charge my gadgets? I panicked a little, but we sneaked into my boyfriend’s brother’s room and found one adapter. Hahaha. Hooray for a little ninja move!

Final Note:

Forgetfulness might not be a bad experience after all. I have a lot of it and I’m happy to share my fun, terrible, and fruitful memories at the same time. I guess, all I can do is to learn from the experience. Like what I said earlier it is okay if it’s for the first time. The second time, we have second chances, but for the third time? Well, let’s better start planning the welcome party and hope we will not forget something!

Do you have some experience similar to this? I would love to hear about it in the comment box below!

Also, follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more adventures!