I had a friend once who was going to Italy with her boyfriend. She was very excited about the trip, in part because I’d had such an incredible experience there myself. I was sure she would have the time of her life. You can imagine my surprise, then, when she returned with nothing but terrible things to say about her trip.

Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and it’s true in this case. I should have known this friend of mine wouldn’t have the same experience I did. Here are a few of her complaints that I can recall:

1. It rained.
2. It was hard to find public restrooms.
3. Meals were small/not served at the same times as in the USA.
4. The lines were long.

It’s easy to let small things like these ruin your trip.  While I certainly think there might be legitimate reasons for not enjoying your time in a foreign country, the biggest mistake you can make is to expect everything to be just like home or worse yet, even better. Go abroad with only the expectation that things will be different and open your mind to the new experience. You’ll be much more likely to have the time of your life.

Did you have any good/bad experiences while abroad? How did you handle them?