It's the Final Countdown...

It's the Final Countdown... Countdown by jovike

This article was written by Natacha Cullinan, published on 22nd June 2010 and has been read 23689 times.

No, we’re not talking Swedish rock band sing-a-longs (although, if that’s your sort of thing...), we’re talking last minute prep and partying before the big day. Here are a few ideas as to how you can arrange a proper send-off (Kleenex not included)... Throw a bon voyage party It may be quite a while before you see your friends and family again so throw a party to say your goodbyes.
Create a theme (French film noir, German Rock Band or Pimm’s o’clock), get your friends round for some fun and frolics and take as many happy snaps as possible—last time you’ll see them, last time you’ll share a drink together for a while = everybody’s going to nurse a well-deserved hangover the next morning. Good times.

Note down or exchange addresses and emails You’ll want these to send postcards or letters back to your friends back home. Make sure they know your address once you’ve sorted your digs out. You may want to write down some more info, like birthdays, their holidays so you can send them links for potential flights etc.

Get a notebook with your favourite lyrics, pics and scraps of paper A great idea is to collect any memorabilia, notes, tickets etc...before you go and stick it all in a notebook, so you have a scrapbook of life pre-year abroad. A friend of TYA got one of these from her friends, who compiled, edited and mixed and matched a scrapbook, with messages, photos, doodles and such like—a happy reminder of who believes in you, when times are tough overseas.

Practise home cooking If you’ve always relied on your mother’s home cooking, it might be a good idea to learn a few basic dishes whilst you’re away. Get a pen and paper ready, make a note of your all time fav’ casserole or special Sunday crumble. You’ll be cooking these up for yourself to begin with, but soon, your new mates will want a taste of your heritage too! Don’t let the family side down!

Start a journal
This is a massive phase of your life. Record what you’re doing in a journal. If you dislike writing on paper then how about starting an internet blog on your travels? On ThirdYearAbroad.com you can create your profile, add to your guidebook, update your travel journal and check out other people’s with just a few clicks of a mouse. A perfect way to avoid mass emailing and getting a following (who knows, you might even get some tips from locals surfing your musings).  We also recommend getting a Moleskine City notebook - the first guidebook you can create yourself!  Click here for an exclusive 20% discount!

Pack friendly reminders of your friends and family Once you’ve found your accommodation, you may want to make yourself more at home and stick up a few photographs of your loved ones, make a soundtrack of your favourite boogie nights with friends, get a few scribblings written by your dearest pinned onto your new walls—simple things that will instantly make your room more you.  Check out our Shop for digital photo frames, photo hangings (so you don't enrage your landlady!) and other brilliant things to take with you!

Get friends and family to download Skype or msn Internet chat programs such as Skype and msn messenger are fantastic free resources you can use to keep in contact with your family. You can pretty much keep homesickness at bay by using the webcam option in chat.  Make sure you teach the computer-illiterate how to use it before you leave with our step by step guides.

Create a travel-inspired music playlist If you ever find yourself feeling apprehensive about leaving home, throw on your playlist, crank up the volume and get yourself in the mood for the epic adventure ahead. Spotify is a fantastic free programme where you can access millions of songs and share music with your friends.

Got any more tips and tricks to keep blues at bay? Send them in or post them in our Forum.

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