yes.. to learn and training to rid some gravel road and soft wooded lanes is contrast gives you the confidence you need... I think most important is... get use to ride and control your bike standing on the foot pegs... to steer the bike with your knees taking the strain of your wrists, doing all the hard work and balance with your hip instead, gear down the sprockets a bit so you can ride slower without to stale the engine every time, toque is more important than speed you want grunt.
most standard sprocket gearing stetup for bikes are for fast lanes and is way to high for cross country needs. a good compromise is 16/45 all steel sprockets for a 600cc type bike, good for average travelling and ok for riding most unpaved lanes. additional I carry a 15-front sprocket to swoop just in case the 16 is to fast.
yes.. go having fun on small unpaved lanes on weekends to get use to your bikes behaver and you will be ok if fully loaded up.
may take a few weeks journey to Scandinavia first before hitting the harder stuff across else where, lots of long unpaved gravel roads all over the place, soft and slipy if wet, hard and dusty as concrete if dry.
don't worry, take your time and you gona be fin...