Before I travelled abroad, I felt a little lost in life. I had been with the same person for 4 years, I had been living in the same city since I could remember, and I had been complaining about how routine-like my life was feeling. I was too scared to take the leap, but too unhappy not to go through with it when I was given the opportunity to leave.
January 12th 2018, I had what I can only describe as a panic attack on a bumpy 9-hour flight to Scotland. My stress-level was through the roof and I wanted to cry. I had never left home, and here I was… leaving home. The 6-months I spent in Scotland changed me. I realize that sounds dramatic and slightly cliché, maybe even a little corny. But it’s my truth. Travelling gave me a new perspective on life. I ate pasta on a beach in Spain in February. I experienced the red light district of Amsterdam in May. On a bright and sunny day on campus, I took up a new hobby called day drinking. That hobby ended by 6PM and I never did it again.
I lived my best life, ditched that dead-beat relationship back home, travelled all around Europe and parts of Asia, and never looked back. Did you know that Hong Kong is the most densely populated territory in the world? Or that in Greece, if you are a resident and over the age of 18 you are required to vote? I visited these places and I informed myself. I didn’t know that the Eiffel tower was once a temporary installation. Or that the author of Pinocchio was Italian. Not only have I met new people, tasted new food, and seen incredible parts of the world, I learned along the way. I feel more mature than ever before and I have a new sense of independence. I learned to cook while I was abroad, because after a while Kraft dinner just doesn’t cut it. I figured out how to read a map and learned the hard way the importance of triple checking flight dates before booking non-refundable airfare.
If you take anything away from anything I’ve said, the time is now. I felt so unprepared to leave home. Routine was boring me, but I was terrified of leaving routine. Turns out, all the fun stuff happens when you leave routine.