When I first wanted to go abroad I remember, in all honesty, not knowing why I wanted to except for riding on the curtails of everyone who has gone before me who said “you have to go” without truly realizing the value of the experience. So, although my initial reasons for wanting to go abroad may have been merely surface level desires…namely to travel with friends and have a good time…it has given me so much more.
Being away from home in a very foreign place for four months has taught me countless lessons about myself, my friends and life that I never would have been able to learn had I not taken advantage of this experience.
Being abroad has taught me countless lessons, perhaps the most important being the value of happiness. I value happiness above all else. If you can just focus on being happy, everything else will always have a way of working itself out. There isn’t enough time in our short lives for us to be any of the opposites of happy. Although there were certainly ups and downs, there were so many times while being abroad where I was able to pause and just cherish the moment, knowing that I was truly happy; and I know that for the rest of my life, I might see an object or hear a song or someone say something, and it will take me back…back to a frozen moment of time at some point on this trip when I was truly happy.
Growing up I have always appreciated the beautiful world which surrounds us. I have always loved hiking, fishing and camping. Being abroad has allowed me to further act on my love for nature’s beauty which we are blessed with, and see so many places that I never could have imagined I would have had the opportunity to see firsthand. Whether it was standing atop the inconceivable heights from the edge of the Cliffs of Moher, or something as simple as sitting in my hammock watching the Danube river next to my dorm roll by as I type this letter, there is so much natural beauty around us and abroad has allowed me to enjoy so much of it.