Growing up, I told EVERYONE I was going to travel the world. I told them my passion and hobby was traveling – lets be real, how old was I when I was saying this and how could that have been my hobby? Actually, I take that back… my parents did take us to some pretty cool states when I was younger – so maybe thats where that passion sprouted from. My first time going to Europe, I was 16. I was with my mom, aunt, cousin and second cousin, and whole bunch of people in a tour group. We went to Italy, France, and Spain. It really was a great trip that created the urge in me to continue doing this.
Fast forward to four years later… my friend sent me a link to our school’s site of a study abroad program for Business students (mom and dad have to approve because I get credit, right?!). The trip was 17 days to Germany, Austria, and France. I did not know much about Germany and Austria but MAN, those are some amazing places. The minute my friend sent me the link, I told my parents… their response was to get a job so LITERALLY that week, I went out and got a job to show them how badly I wanted to go.
I learned so much about myself, and others during this trip. I discovered new hobbies – who would’ve thought that someone genuinely enjoys looking at maps and figuring out how to get from one place to another or memorizing ways and landmarks to test themselves to see how well they know the area and if they can get everyone back home – yeah I’m that weirdo with those hobbies. I thought it was so interesting to watch how the other students adapted to the different cultures and settings. I loved meeting new people in different countries and cities and hearing all about their lives and where they are off to. Its amazing to walk around a city and literally have no idea what people are saying – definitely a culture shock when I got back to America and understood what people were saying. If you are ever presented with the opportunity to go abroad, just do it. It is such an amazing experience – there is so much out there; more than we know just in our comfort zones.
One piece of advice that I would give to you, that my professor gave to us – do not be stuck on your phone. Lift your head and look around, you’re experiencing things that the people from your phone WISH they could experience. Don’t be on your phone seeing whats going on at home, this is your one chance to experience something like this, so embrace it.
One of my friends that was on the trip with me, and I collaborated on a blog while we were on the trip – so if you want to read more about our adventures and what we did daily, click this link and enjoy!