Without a doubt, one of the best things about studying abroad is forming new friendships that continue long after the program end date. In my personal experience, I’ve found that making close, meaningful relationships with friends abroad occurs on a seemingly accelerated timeline. Quite possibly this is due to a raw sense of vulnerability that seems to be associated with making connections in a foreign environment. As friends, you become forced to rely, trust, and look out for one another in ways that differ drastically than with friendships at home. Furthermore, making friends abroad facilitates a beautiful acceptance for the exact person you are in the present moment. It doesn’t really matter who you were before your abroad experience, nor does it matter who you will evolve to be. What truly matters is opening up to the other people in the “here and now,” mutually accepting and supporting one another, and inviting them to create a beautiful, exciting, and meaningful experience during your time overseas.
Just one week into adjusting to life in Madrid, I found myself thrown in with a new group of girlfriends that you could have imagined were lifelong friends of mine. Only one week later, we found ourselves jetting off to London together on a last minute, birthday celebration weekend trip.
The four of us, Lydia, Elizabeth, Lauren and I, departed sunny Madrid early on a Friday morning to venture to England for Lauren’s birthday. Wanting to give Lauren the best birthday possible, we took every opportunity to make her feel like a queen. The celebration began with forcing Lauren to wear a crown through airport security, resulting in some interesting stares. But hey, how often do you celebrate a birthday abroad?
London proved to be the perfect destination for a Girls Weekend. From lavish lunches, top-notch nightlife, and beautiful views, London is a true international hub that offers a little bit of everything. Highlights from our trip included exploring the city by foot and walking alongside the River Thymes. Unintentionally stumbling across famous landmarks such as Big Ben, The London Eye, and Tower Bridge. Taste testing the seemingly endless food options at Borough Market. And lastly, exploring the hustling, bustling Chinatown.
Overall, the weekend perfectly epitomized what it feels like to be "young and 20 something". To find myself embraced by a group of carefree girls, all laughing at the silly shenanigans we cause for ourselves, while exploring distant parts of the world is a gift of incomparable freedom. Irrefutably, Lauren's birthday will be one she will never forget, and I’m so happy I could be a part of it.
More Blogs From This Author
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:2.35pt; margin-right:10.6pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin-left:5.0pt"><span style="line-height:115%">I'm Kiana Molitor, a young 20-something year old who happens to be many things, including but not limited to: an optimistic idealist, an adventure enthusiast, a jet set travel bug, and a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I am also a Global business student at the University of Redlands. I jump at all opportunities that push me outside of my comfort zone and try to embrace the unknown.</span></p>