My first time abroad was traveling to Munich, Germany with my family. I was nervous to travel abroad and to be in a country that speaks a different language, scared for the long plane ride and for the different food, however despite all my nervousness traveling abroad for the first time was an eye-opening and life changing experience.
Preparation: Before I traveled I studied some common German phrases like “danka shin” and “guten morgen”. I was so glad I learned a couple of the greeting phrases because as soon as we landed I was able to greet people and felt like I was making connections with the locals. Throughout our 2 week trip I was able to pick up many more phrases regarding food, restaurants and directions that helped us navigate the cities and our destinations.
Experiences: We loved seeing Germany. It is such a beautiful country with inspiring history and culture. Munich was our base city but we took many little trips to surrounding areas like Hamburg and Austria. We were able to visit some of the famous castles like Neuschwanstein Castle and Residenz Palace. If you are raveling to Germany, I highly recommend seeing some of the iconic castles, houses and palaces. They are breathtakingly beautiful, with detailed and elaborate architecture and fascinating tours. You can pretend you are living a modern-day fairy tale as you walk through the different castles.
We also loved visiting the 1972 Olympic Park. They had six mega trampolines built together with a large net and we spent the afternoon bouncing around. It also was incredible to walk around the Olympic facilities and be inspired by the world athletes that competed there.
In Austria we took a sound of music tour and saw some of the prettiest scenery while we all sung along to the Sound of Music songs. Even if you’re not a Sound of Music fan, this tour is spectacular just for the beautiful views you experience. The tour was entertaining the entire time, and I loved learning the Hollywood story as well as the real historical story behind the Sound of Music. My favorite part was the short trip to the countryside, it’s breathtaking to say the least. We also tried some of the local strudel in the Village of Mondesee, absolutely delicious!
We also went to the famous Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo. This Zoo is famous to Germany as it is one of the largest zoos in the world. Set on 36 acres, the zoo is a great way to experience Munich with young kids or with family. The zoo houses many impressive animals, but our favorite part of the zoo was the beautiful and large botanical garden and rivers that were centered in the zoo. It was a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon.
Some of my favorite memories though are just from walking around and exploring Munich, we visited many local markets, ate delicious meats, breads and cheeses, experienced sweet desserts paired with salty compliments and spent our days amazed by the beautiful architecture and scenery.
What I Learned: Travelling abroad for the first time taught me a lot about myself and about traveling. I learned not to fear new environments or new cultures, but to embrace them. Embracing new cultures allowed me to fully experience Germany and gain a love for the culture and people. Traveling abroad for the first time taught me to be confident, to trust myself, and to be open minded. It also helped me gain an appreciation for the world and people around me that I didn’t have before. Traveling abroad for the first time truly sparked my current passion for traveling and exploring. I now love seeing new countries and experiencing new cultures.