Welcome to the world of NFTs!
First, what's blockchain?
Simply, blockchain is a system of recording digital information in a way that makes it nearly impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. Historically, information has been stored or recorded at a single location or multiple locations all controlled by a single entity. Think of your your bank that records your deposits and withdrawals. Sure, your bank probably has multiple branches, but all of them are accessing the single record source of your account. If that record gets hacked or if the bank just decided tomorrow that they wanted to change that record, it's your word and receipts versus theirs. Now, imagine instead that every time you transacted with your bank, computers all across the world, not owned or controlled by the bank, recorded those transactions. It would be much harder to hack or change the records on every single one of those computers. That's blockchain!
Further resource: What is Blockchain?
Ok, so what's an NFT then?
NFTs use blockchain technology to assign ownership in the digital world. In the "real world", ownership is easier to track as you either physically have the item or you don't. It's also hard to duplicate items in a way that's indistinguishable from the original. On the other hand, in the digital world, it's much easier to copy a song, art or other asset with no difference between the original and the copy. NFTs, though, provide a record of where a digital asset was created, who has owned it, and who is now the current owner.
I think I've got it, but what's a "gas" fee?
Remember all those computers recording everything that's happening on the blockchain? That processing power isn't free and so "gas" fees are what the members of the computer network earn in return for the processing power they provide. Gas fees then fluctuate according to the amount of traffic on the blockchain at any given moment. More transactions at one time means higher demand for the processing power and thus higher fees must be paid to get priority for your transaction to be processed and recorded. Think of it like a night club: no line, no fee; short line, small fee to get to the front; long line, large fee to skip it!
Whoa, this is cool. Gimme my Travel Toucan!
Download and install the Chrome browser and a plugin called MetaMask. This will allow websites (that you authorize) to access your Ethereum account for you to buy, sell and exchange NFTs.
Buy some Ether. You can do it right in MetaMask or two popular cryptocurrency exchanges are Coinbase and Gemini. (Keep in mind, it will take at least a day or two to get your account fully set up, buy the Ether and then withdraw it to your MetaMask wallet)
You're ready to go! When minting is live (2/22/22), choose your options and click the 'Mint' button on the website. Then just follow the MetaMask instructions in your wallet and authorize the transaction.