Wow, within a blink of an eye, my adventure in Europe is over. As I am leaving to go home tomorrow, I want to thank AIFS for giving me this opportunity to share my travel adventures. Without AIFS, my experience in London would not have been the same. So, thank you, AIFS you guys are the best!
Over the course of 10 weeks, I have learned not only a lot about myself, but about traveling as well. And I want to share some tips that I hope will help future/current travelers and study abroad students.
1. When you are uncomfortable, you are growing.
Yes, when you are uncomfortable, you are growing. This was my mantra throughout my entire trip. Almost everyday, I did something outside my comfort zone. And, it wasn’t anything dramatic like skydiving, but taking the Tube by myself or asking a stranger for directions. Many people think that being uncomfortable is correlated with negativity, but that’s not true. Being uncomfortable allows you to challenge your limits and learn to defy those limits.
2. Do not waste a single second sleeping.
We all like to sleep, but you can sleep all you want when you arrive home! I’ll be honest, this is a hard one; but get up, grab an espresso and GO! You will regret it if you don’t.
3. Travel for the right intentions.
While for some it’s fun to party, don’t let it your main priority. You’re studying abroad to travel, to see the world, and to share stories about your cultural experience. That story about you and your friends going to a club – yeah, that gets old.
4. You can have more than one home.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.” I left a family behind in London to go home to my family in California. London was an experience I will never forget and I call it home.
Well, that’s it. That’s all I have.
Traveling has made me realize that the world is huge and there are still many places that I want to explore that I still have yet to see. Also, traveling has taught me that I am truly blessed to know so many wonderful people. Thank you to everyone who has supported me (in both big and small ways) along my journey, each of you will always have a special place in my heart!
This content was contributed by Monica Hamilton, who studied abroad in Fall 2014 on an AIFS customized faculty-led program in London, England.