I am realistic and level-headed to a fault, but lately, I would love to be an optimistic person.
I have wanted to travel since I was little. I can remember watching the Travel channel as a kid, awestruck as the hosts explored ancient ruins or colorful cities. My favorite children’s book characters were Eloise and Madeline. I nailed life goal number 1- to live in NYC, and was ecstatic for a year leading up to life goal number 2- being able to study abroad. ESPECIALLY because I was able to live in 3 cities for five weeks each in Europe.
Well, it hasn’t been easy. I miss my friends and family back home and desperately want to share the experience of a lifetime with the people I love. I feel like I am just floating through this. That is the reality of study abroad that they never tell you. That you are most likely going to feel the most alone and lost, you have ever felt in your life.
It always feels like you are in a dream. It’s not a bad dream; it just doesn’t feel like you are real. I go on weekend trips to different COUNTRIES. Hell, going all the way to Brooklyn was a JOURNEY back at school.
Despite all of those layers- I am shifting my attitude through intentions and perspective. I walk to school every day (which is a 30 min walk) and change every thought to an intention of gratitude. I could complain about how cold, and rainy the walk is or I can be grateful that I see something new every day. Each time I take that path I notice either a colorful side street or a slice of Irish culture I hadn’t recognized yet. I also am stubborn in the sense that I am determined to keep this experience in perspective. This is something I have wanted to do my entire life. It is a crazy and complicated adventure that I am determined to make the most of.
I am realistic but also incredibly hopeful and excited for all the adventures to come in the next four months I have left. I am going to make the most of this semester, regardless of the challenges that come my way.
If you or someone you love is considering study abroad. DO IT. But, take off the rose-colored glasses before you get on the airplane. Know that this won’t be easy, but I still firmly believe it is worth it.