Jul 20, 2015

8 Ways traveling abroad changed my life

Profile photo of Lebbaeus Davidson
in category Life

Traveling abroad opened my eyes up to the world, while it is risky, the return on investment is amazing! Once you arrive everything else is cheap.  Here are the top 8 ways traveling abroad changed my life.

  1. The world really is flat! Being abroad is a mind stretching experience, there was an instance when I sitting at a table in London England as an American at a table with people from Australia, Brazil, Peru, Japan, Canada, and Germany, at the same time! It helped me understand the value of a worldwide network.
  2. The power of time spent alone, silence has been redefined, spending 9 days traveling 4 Italian cities all by myself! Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Venice. Followed by a bus ride to Slovenia. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but I remained alive.   Pictures don’t do the images justice, sitting at the top of the Michelangelo Piazza, looking over the Tuscan country side along with the city view was amazing.  Alone with only my thoughts, the mind travels farther than the body.
  3. Also some moments are only to be captured by the mind, the true feeling of being in that moment is greater than any picture you will ever take.  In the middle of that beautiful flow taking a picture means losing the moment forever. Visiting the famous statue of Michelangelo’s David, a decision had to be mad, take a snap shot, or put it in my mental catalog.  As I pulled my phone from my pocket ready to take the picture it died! And I’m so glad it did, I get to replay that moment over and over.
  4. Disconnect – As great as it is to have almost anything in the world in the palm of your hand, try only having it for a few hours a day. Every time I left the house, Hostel, or Air BNB I lost access to the digital world, the phone was only good for telling time.  It felt so good! You see so much when you look up instead of at a 4 inch screen.
  5. Relationships – Every relationship you form abroad has the opportunity to last for a long time, there is a handful of people met in a handful of countries that I am still in contact with and I love it! Who you meet abroad will know you in a way no one else will.  The unfamiliar land with no context, you can be your authentic self!
  6. Getting Lost – On opening day in Luxembourg, all students had an orientation.  The first slide of our Deans power point read in capital letters, GET LOST.  Wandering the streets in a ‘wanderlust’ creates indescribable moments.  Be safe and always carry a map, however it’s ok to put that map in your back pocket and wander until it’s time to figure out where you are.
  7. Taking risk – I won’t lie initially I was absolutely petrified to travel alone, in fact I went to the wrong Belgian airport and had 3 hours to find my way 2 hours to the right airport.  Even after I arrived I went to the wrong hotel, and paid to see the Roman Coliseum twice, some of these events solidified my fear, yet it was more than worth it.  Catching trains around a foreign country, switching destinations, literally navigating the world.  Sometimes with no destination in sight. Feeling like the modern day Sacagawea.
  8. The itch to go back – Now that I’ve seen all of these beautiful destinations I truly cannot wait to continue traveling the world.  Seeing the little countries, big continents, all of it, and stretching my mind every time.

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