A few weeks ago, I did the most spontaneous, impulsive thing I have ever done in my life: I packed my bags and booked a trip to Belgium. This was without any further planning, and I booked my flight and Airbnb a few hours before I left. I took this spontaneous trip because I had discovered the Mexico would be playing Belgium in a friendly soccer match in preparations for the 2018 World Cup. This was an opportunity I simply could not miss, so I went home, packed my bag, and got on a flight to a whole new country.
It is very much not in my nature to act on impulse, or to let spontaneity take control. Yet, if there is one thing that I have learned from this experience is that these kinds of opportunities only come once in a life time, and you have to enjoy them when you can. So yeah, I booked a trip that I would have never imagined I’d ever take, without really planning any of it, because I knew that I would never again in my life be able to say that I saw that game on that day actually in Belgium. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I loved every minute of it.
In Belgium, I experienced a culture incredibly different from my own. For one, it was freezing. My years of temperate California weather hadn’t prepared me to handle anything past 50 degrees. Being able to bundle up with layers of sweaters, jackets, scarves, and beanies was an adventure in and of itself. And on top of that I got to see a beautiful city, filled with a deep history, that I probably would have never seen had it not been for those circumstances. I also enjoyed some incredible Belgian fries and Belgian chocolates, plus an endless supply of Belgian waffles, but that was just another added benefit.
So if there’s anything I learned from my impulsive, wildly planned trip to Belgium, it’s that study abroad is filled with all kinds of new and exciting experiences, and sometimes you just have to let the journey take you where it may. A healthy dose of spontaneity and impulse (not recklessly of course) does wonders for a reserved, shy planner like myself. It’s the spontaneous, exciting things that always make the best stories, and will leave you with the best memories to take back with you when you return home.
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<p>I am a young Latina student who is passionate about travel, community empowerment, and celebration of diversity. I am the only daughter of Mexican immigrants and my life has been a colorful blending of Mexican and American cultures that has created a passion for the exploration of diverse cultures through travel. In all that I do, I try to learn about and immerse myself in worlds and communities unlike my own, because with each experience I grow as a conscious global citizen and will be able create bridges that can bring about positive social change in communities throughout the world.</p>