During my time here, I have been fortunate enough to have been to 14 incredible cities and seven countries. From my experiences traveling, here are five things I learned and try to remind myself for future travels.
Take lots of pictures. In my mind. I think it’s the best souvenir anyone can have.They’re cheap, don’t take up any room in your suitcase, and they’re something you cankeep forever. You might only be able to be in this place one time in your life and is therea better way to document it than take a picture?
Stay positive. Bad things will happen and sometimes things will not go as completely asyou planned. However, try to stay optimistic! Remind yourself that not everyone has theopportunity to be traveling or be in the wonderful place you are in now. Good vibes willbring good things and I truly believe every word of that. Don’t let one misfortunate thingruin your day and sometimes, when bad things happen, you realize that it led to betterthings. Although my travel experience to Istanbul were probably some of the worst I’veever had, I really wouldn’t change anything because I learned from my mistakes and itmade me a more experienced person.
Don’t be afraid to let yourself out of your comfort zone. Safety is always somethingthat should come first but don’t hold yourself back from everything. If there’s somethingyou see that you want to try or are interested in, it’s not a bad idea to try it! I was verycautious during my time here abroad but as time passed, I learned that not all things aregoing to end badly. Just because a lifestyle is different from yours doesn’t mean that it’snecessarily going to be bad. Embrace the new surrounding and people because it is whatmakes our world such a unique and amazing place.
Unplug yourself from social media. In our generation, people are controlled bytechnology and obsessively have the urge to check social media. Back in the States, Inever see anyone just sitting on a bus or making eye contact in an elevator. When anyawkward moment approaches, people resort to their phone. When traveling, I really try toput away my phone and just really get to watch people. People watching is one of myfavorite things and not only do you learn things about other people, but you learn thingsabout yourself as well.
Start a journal and write down memories. It’s hard for me to tell people what I didyesterday let alone tell people what I did on my trip. I started a blog and a diary when Iwent abroad and it’s pretty cool looking back and seeing what I did. I highlighted someof the best and bad moments I had and when I go back home, I can’t wait to share themwith my friends and family. I think these are precious memories that people only have afew times in their lives and I want to remember what I first felt about a city or the peopleI met or some of the conversations I had with the people.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>I am a junior studying at the University of Illinois and am majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, in hopes of attending dental school one day. During my free time, I enjoy painting, listening to music, and running. I love to travel and I'm especially looking forward to studying abroad this summer in Barcelona. I also love to take pictures because it captures a great experience that you can cherish for a lifetime.</p>