A memory just popped up on Facebook that it was this day in 2014 that I booked a flight to Rome for my wife and I for our 25th anniversary. This was before I'd really heard of Rick Steves except for being that guy on PBS. Except for the US and a couple of trips to Mexico I'd never been out of Canada. I'd always researched/planned my trips to death and this was no exception. I remember buying the RS guide for Rome and being surprised that this guy on PBS also had books. I almost didn't buy it because I thought the blue and yellow cover looked tacky (especiallythe yellow; still not a fan). But wow, talk about required reading for my Europe for Beginners 101 self learnt course. Two nuggets of information stuck out for me as I studied that book; not all hotels rooms will have the their own bathroom and crossing the street in Rome may be an adventure for the uninitiated.
I'm curious about the rest of you while you pre-planned your first trip to somewhere foreign and new. What did you learn that made you realize you weren't going to be in Kansas anymore?