Hi everyone! This post isn’t fashion related but as you can see by the title, it is travel related. If you’ve followed my blog/Instagram for a while now you may have realized that another interest of mine besides fashion, is traveling! I have been fortunate to travel to many different European countries in the past few years and can confidently say the experiences I had are 100% life changing. Below are 4 reasons why I think traveling is so important!
1) Independence + Maturity
When you travel abroad, especially study abroad, you will notice that you’ll gain a sense of newfound independence as well as confidence in your daily activities, even when you return home to the US. At some point in your travels you most likely will have to fly alone. I was a little nervous about this when I flew to Dublin, Ireland, for the first time in 2015. However, since then I have been on countless flights, train rides, buses, and taxi rides, long, and short, by myself, and now I actually love traveling alone! Flying alone to and from different countries that most likely speak a different language, forces you to ask questions, pay close attention to your surroundings, be organized, and just enjoy your own company. Also, studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and having to navigate the entire city on my own (plus a little help from my American friends) truly has given me a new level of maturity. From having to find our classes that were scattered throughout the city, figuring out the Italian grocery stores, and taking time to walk around by myself sometimes, definitely has made me a confident traveler. I now find that this attribute directly translates to other aspects of my life. You essentially may have to put yourself out there and figure out life on your own while abroad. Stepping out of your comfort zone pushes you and you realize what you’re capable of.
2) Major Eye-Opener
I know it’s cliche to explain how much you learn about a countries culture and language after going abroad, but it is SO beyond true. After visiting 7 countries in Europe, of course I am not an expert in all of them, but I feel as if I have a new outlook on my day to day life after visiting them (especially Italy & the Netherlands!) While you are in a foreign country, you typically try to blend in with everyone else. While you’re trying to blend in it requires you to learn some of the language, learn how they carry out daily tasks (because it often differs from how we do things in the US), and even how you dress could be altered a bit! Being in Europe multiple different times has caused me to reevaluate some things that we do here in America, as well as appreciate some. I’m not sure if everyone is like this, but I really am just fascinated with different languages. It amazes me that basically everyone in Europe is fluent in at least two languages. Hearing and seeing all of the cultural differences was such an eye opener for me. I now know that there is way more to this world than just America. I feel like we all get trapped in our little “America is the best” and our typical American lifestyle, so it is very refreshing and interesting to see how others live.
3) Learn how to truly BUDGET $
People may have this preconceived idea of how expensive it probably is to travel. Not saying it’s cheap, but it can be affordable even for college kids! If you’re in Europe for a longer time period, you will learn to make your dollar stretch! I proudly can say that I paid for my own entire study abroad trip that was over two months long. Study abroad is the way to go, because most of the time your tuition covers it! However, you have to purchase your own plane tickets, food, and any other things you chose to do. Even if you’re not studying abroad, after you bite the bullet and purchase your plane ticket, once you’re in Europe everything becomes more affordable. For example, flights within Europe are under $100. You even could take a train county to country! Another HUGE money saver when traveling is to stay in Airbnb’s. I’ve had nothing but great experiences staying at them and they are extremely affordable, even the ones located in city centers. As far as food goes, of course you will want to eat out sometimes, but if you go grocery shopping and cook most of your meals you will save tons of money. I have found European grocery stores to be cheaper than American ones! When you’re abroad, you obviously don’t have an income during that period of time so you learn that you cannot do everything. For example, you can’t go on a shopping spree everyday in your new favorite city just because you may have the money at that exact moment. That money needs to last you the rest of your trip because there’s most likely no one there to help you out which honestly isn’t even a bad thing. But if you do have some extra cash you don’t mind spending, of course treat yourself!
4) It’s FUN
Traveling is seriously the most rewarding thing that I have done in my life thus far. I have learned more than I thought about myself, and the world. When abroad, even if you do not pay for fancy excursions you still will (most likely) have the time of your life. You will be in a place that you have never been before which is exciting and liberating on its own. Just taking pictures, and exploring what each city has to offer is what I tend to do and wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything!
I hope this post was helpful if you’re thinking about planning a trip abroad! Would you guys like to see a post all about my study abroad experience? I touched on it in this post, but I have SO much more that I could share about it! Leave me a comment 🙂