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Old 07-22-2015, 06:52 PM
 
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thanks a million times over to everyone who gave great, helpful comments. I've repped each of you, as a way to say thanks. i'll be sure to post once i've returned. I'm heading out at the beginning of September, so i've got a little time. Italy here I come!!!

I've definitely got some research to do before I go. I may post back before I go if I have any questions .
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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If you have any extra time, Orvieto is a quick train ride (I think about 1.5 hours) from Rome and is the MOST amazing, small, gorgeous Italian hill town!!! We were there for a day and were wishing we had planned for more. I would highly suggest venturing over there if you can. (And it will expand your bravery level, even though it's very easy to get there by train and then take the funicular up the mountain to the actual town). Google it and just look at the images!!!
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Old 07-23-2015, 02:07 PM
 
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To everyone who has posted sound advice, thank you again, a million times over!

I appreciate the words of encouragement and the personal accounts you shared of your travels abroad. They did help me to put things into perspective. My ticket was purchased yesterday (yay!!!), and now I'm just dealing with the hotel. I'll be in Rome for a week, and will probably hit up the Almafi coast. All of this is in the context of doing work while there (it's a work related trip), but I'll be darned if I don't spend 99.9% of my days sightseeing,eating great food, and having a glass of wine . I leave in 6 weeks. I'll be sure to post when I get back and things settle down.

Last edited by erjunkee; 07-23-2015 at 02:27 PM..
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:15 PM
 
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Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you keep in touch with your loved ones in the States, while you are abroad?

Calling/texting is so expensive. I'll be gone for a week, but since my mother worries incessantly, and my boyfriend will want to hear from me, I'm unsure of how to actively keep in touch without paying those expensive calling/texting charges .
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
1,300 posts, read 1,093,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you keep in touch with your loved ones in the States, while you are abroad?

Calling/texting is so expensive. I'll be gone for a week, but since my mother worries incessantly, and my boyfriend will want to hear from me, I'm unsure of how to actively keep in touch without paying those expensive calling/texting charges .
If you have an unlocked phone then you can always get a sim card from a local company. If you don't you may want to see if you carrier offers wi-fi calling, in addition to being able to make calls you can also receive and send texts as long as you are connected to wifi. You may need to activate this with you carrier so you should call about it before leaving and test it out before you leave. Finally, I would recommend that you all install Whatsapp, it is a useful messaging app and you can also send voice messages and I think they also allow you to make calls but I'm not sure if it uses only a data connection for the calls, there may be other apps but I don't have experience with them. Another feature of Whatsapp is that it will let you know when your message has been delivered and read which could be a good or a bad thing. I found free wifi access to be pretty common while in Italy, you may have to ask for a code at some restaurants but it usually wasn't a problem and your hotel will most likely will have wi-fi access for you.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:28 PM
 
4,685 posts, read 2,312,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you keep in touch with your loved ones in the States, while you are abroad?

Calling/texting is so expensive. I'll be gone for a week, but since my mother worries incessantly, and my boyfriend will want to hear from me, I'm unsure of how to actively keep in touch without paying those expensive calling/texting charges .
Email. From your hotel or you can find internet cafes all over and they only cost a few dollars/euros. I don't know what they are called in Italy, in Spain they are "Informaticas".
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,468,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellymdnv View Post
If you have an unlocked phone then you can always get a sim card from a local company. If you don't you may want to see if you carrier offers wi-fi calling, in addition to being able to make calls you can also receive and send texts as long as you are connected to wifi. You may need to activate this with you carrier so you should call about it before leaving and test it out before you leave. Finally, I would recommend that you all install Whatsapp, it is a useful messaging app and you can also send voice messages and I think they also allow you to make calls but I'm not sure if it uses only a data connection for the calls, there may be other apps but I don't have experience with them. Another feature of Whatsapp is that it will let you know when your message has been delivered and read which could be a good or a bad thing. I found free wifi access to be pretty common while in Italy, you may have to ask for a code at some restaurants but it usually wasn't a problem and your hotel will most likely will have wi-fi access for you.
I second Whatsapp and free Wifi wherever you can find it, but I also have started doing an international calling plan through ATT when I travel internationally. I've used the $30 plan for a week-long trip and the $60 plan for a 2-week trip to the Middle East, and as long as you're not streaming stuff or doing a lot of data-heavy uploads, it should be plenty, especially if you're still using Wifi when possible. There were a lot of Facebook posts on both trips and I had plenty of data for both. The ATT plans have unlimited texting (although be aware that iMessages go against DATA when on this plan, so turn them off!) and cheap calling minutes, although I never use the calling minutes. Generally, the coverage is really good, too. I will be doing the $60 plan in September during a 2-week trip to China and Thailand.

When we were in Italy last, we took an old phone and bought a SIM card there, but that was a pain in the butt, so I'll just do international plans from now on. The little bit of extra cost is worth the lack of hassle.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:56 AM
 
14,171 posts, read 6,415,927 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you keep in touch with your loved ones in the States, while you are abroad?

Calling/texting is so expensive. I'll be gone for a week, but since my mother worries incessantly, and my boyfriend will want to hear from me, I'm unsure of how to actively keep in touch without paying those expensive calling/texting charges .
Eithejr FB them or email, do you have an iPhone? Just make sure you turn airplane mode on.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,968,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Hi All,

So Ive just been presented with a wonderful opportunity to go to Rome, Italy, for an international emergency medicine conference in Italy in a few months.

I have an old med. school buddy who's going to Italy. Due to our scheduling conflicts at work, she will be leaving ahead of me and she wants me to meet her at our conference hotel.

I don't travel often, but when I do, it's usually just to my home state in the South. I've only been to Europe once (Spain), but I was traveling with a group of 5 other females and safety was never a question.

This time alone, it would be me all alone, up until I meet with my friend at the hotel.

While I would love, love, love, to go to Italy (as it's a once in a lifetime experience!), I'm very nervous about traveling alone. In fact, I'm scared. Just the thought of traveling for 8+ hours on a plane, by myself, and then landing in a foreign land alone, is overwhelming. I feel inundated with so many "what ifs."
But I so want to go!

Has anyone had a similar experience with being fearful about traveling internationally alone?

For those who have traveled to Italy (specifically Rome), is there anything I should look out for or be worried about?

Any and all helpful advice would be greatly appreciated .
Nope...Been to Germany twice, first time it was after the trip was canceled because of fear of terrorism, and once to Argentina without any knowledge of Spanish. Whatever can happen there can happen here...no point in getting nervous about it.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:22 AM
 
1,769 posts, read 2,440,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erjunkee View Post
Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask:

How do you keep in touch with your loved ones in the States, while you are abroad?

Calling/texting is so expensive. I'll be gone for a week, but since my mother worries incessantly, and my boyfriend will want to hear from me, I'm unsure of how to actively keep in touch without paying those expensive calling/texting charges .

I've traveled extensively as a single woman, going into communist countries and horse trekking. Learning to travel alone and be resourceful when things do go wrong, is very empowering. You become more and more confident. Personally, I never carry a cellphone or anything else. I am out of communication with everyone while I am gone. What will be will be and being away wont change what occurs state side. You don't want to ruin your trip. Just go, have fun, keep a diary, take lots of pics, and catch up on things when you return. Oh yes, one more thing - I do not go out alone at night when traveling. Just minimize your exposure to danger and you will be fine. Pack light - the hotel can do your laundry.
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