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Orionite Abroad: Tips for healthy traveling

Michelle Manera

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Trevi Fountain

Orionite Michelle Manera at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

People have been wondering if I’m even studying here because of how many cities I have seen.

Foreign education systems expect you to spend less time in the classroom and more time learning by yourself. If done properly, weekends and spring break are yours without sacrificing grades.

We have a three-week long spring break at my school in Brighton and I just spent two of those in Italy. Now I’ve experienced how studying abroad and traveling abroad are different challenges.

When you’re actually backpacking without your dorm room to hold your stuff, it’s easy to get weighed down and distracted. You can destroy the romantic idea of “backpacking around Europe” by
bringing too many pairs of shoes or kits of makeup.

The best plan is to go light. Wearing the same shirt in Florence and Verona is nothing to be ashamed of. Avoid packing too much by buying a
backpack. This helps with cheap country-hopping airlines like Ryanair and easyJet, which only allow one small bag for free.

Some
people sneak in wheeled suitcases, but don’t risk it. You may
have more cute outfits, but rolling suitcases and cobblestone don’t
mix. My friend broke a wheel after three days and spent the rest of her trip carrying her rolling
bag in her arms.

I had my backpack with me for eight hours straight In Venice because I couldn’t leave it at the hostel before I went to the
airport. Believe me — I was glad I packed one week of clothing that I
washed halfway through my trip. This also left room for gifts without giving me back pain.

Sickness can also weigh you down while traveling. I got sick because of the change in environment about a week after arriving in England. I unfortunately didn’t use this wisdom to anticipate it happening again in Italy.

Getting sick abroad is awful because you’re supposed to be running around and taking too many pictures to show everyone on Facebook.

However, your body goes into a kind of survival mode so you can see more amazing things. You just have to help it as much as you can by taking a lot of vitamin C and get medication from a pharmacist.

In Europe, locals don’t go to doctors unless they need surgery. This turns out to be very helpful when you just want to keep traveling instead of spending hours at a doctor’s office.

From carrying luggage to experiencing new germs, your body demands your attention just as much as a panoramic view of Florence and a cheesy picture at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Take care of yourself first and the amazing sights and pictures will follow.

Michelle Manera can be reached at [email protected] or @michelle_manera on Twitter.

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Orionite Abroad: Tips for healthy traveling