I’m sorry my blog has been very lack luster these past couple of months! Studying abroad definitely got the better of me but now that I am in the states again… time for new posts! Every one I see has been asking me how study abroad was and my standard answer is that it was amazing and incredible (because it was), but I don’t feel like there are any real words to describe the experience. I knew studying abroad was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I never really knew how I would feel afterwards. I could write forever about my experience in London and traveling around Europe, but good news for you, I won’t.
- Be open-minded!
The number one lesson I learned was to be open-minded in every city I visited. One of the hardest things for most travelers is to think that their habits are “right” and other cultures do things “wrong” or “weird”. I definitely had some of these moments, but by doing so, I wasn’t letting myself actually get immersed in the city. That is why we travel! Don’t go into study abroad thinking that you do everything right because trust me, you don’t. (Except driving on the left, that’s still weird).
- Don’t go in without a plan…
One of the first times I traveled outside of London, I had a vague idea of the things I wanted to see but not a complete plan and it was insane. Wherever you go, make sure you have a list of the places you want to hit each day and make those the primary goals of the day. This way you know that you are seeing everything you wanted to.
- … but be flexible
Knowing what you want to see is vital but don’t ruin the trip by being neurotic about every minute of the day. If you spend an extra hour at the market that you didn’t plan for, it’s not the end of the world.
- Go places other than the typical tourist traps
Yes, the touristy things are “touristy” for a reason. Did you really go to Paris without climbing the Eiffel Tower? However, towards the end of the trip I made sure to look for local markets or museums for multiple reasons. First of all they are typically cheaper to eat at or shop at since the price isn’t higher for being a block away from the Colosseum, and you get a break from long lines.
- Go outside your comfort zone
Make the most out of your travel experiences and try something new and exciting that you can’t get back at home. No matter how weird or crazy it is, do something that you will never forget (and make sure you have a good story to tell when you come back!).
Travel anywhere and everywhere. It’s an amazing world we live in and everyone should have the opportunity to experience it.
Also! I leave in 3 days to live in San Francisco for the whole summer (ahhh!), so I will definitely be writing about that in the next days to come!