Before you go abroad you will probably have a mental, or physical, list of places you want to visit while abroad. You will probably look at flights whenever you have a free moment becasue you’re so excited. Once you finally go abroad you will probably follow through with that list you made a while back and travel as much as possible while abroad. That might be your reality.
My reality is different.
I had an ENORMOUS physical list of places that I was interested in seeing but, truth be told, I really only yearned to see four different countries: Morocco, Portual, England, and the Netherlands. I wanted to see each country for a different reason and at the end of the day, I ended up booking trips to 3 of the 4 (I plan on exploring the Netherlands as a separate trip entirely in a few years). I have traveled to quite a few different places, but at the end of the day I spent most of my time right here in Seville, Spain.
Over the few months that I’ve been here, I’ve made some pretty AMAZING local friends who have had an immense impact on not only my time here, but also my understanding of the Spanish culture as a whole. With these newfound friendships I’ve noticed that I, personally, would much rather spend time with my Spanish friends and enjoy their company than travel somewhere else. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE TO TRAVEL, but I also love Seville. I’ve grown attached to everything that surrounds me and I genuinely wouldn’t have it any other way.
People always say to make the most of your time abroad because you only get to study abroad once. The way I have interpreted that information is that you need to do what YOU want to do. If you make lifelong friends in your host city and you want to spend time with them, don’t feel pressured to go somewhere with Sally for an obscene amount of money if you don’t TRULY want to go (sidenote: don’t EVER pay an obscene amount of money to travel because if there is a will, THERE IS A WAY).
If there’s one thing that I want you to take away from this, it’s that each person’s study abroad experience is unique to them and you should not feel pressured in any way to do things that you don’t want to do or go places you don’t care for just because everyone else is doing so. At the end of the day, I studied abroad in Spain because I wanted to experience the Spanish culture and I’m doing just that.
Until next time,
If you’d like to see more pictures of my adventures, follow my Study Abroad Instagram @AbroadWithIz