As I complete my internship virtually, I have been reminiscing on some of my experiences abroad.
My first education abroad trip was to Seville, Spain when I was a sophomore in college. I did not grow up traveling so I was very nervous for the whole thing. How could I sit on a plane for that long, would I make new friends, what if I don’t like the food?! These thoughts wouldn’t stop going through my head – I actually think I teared up when my parents said goodbye at the airport.
Little did I know that as soon as I stepped off the plane, I would make lifelong friends and develop a new passion for exploring the world. Although I got a little homesick, didn’t like every meal, and my roommate’s wallet got stolen I loved every second of this trip. I felt independent and confident being so far from home and getting to see so many new things.
It’s difficult to pick one highlight, but one thing I will never forget is going to Marrakesh, Morocco for a long weekend. We were with our study abroad group and the bus they were transporting us in got in a wreck! It wasn’t a bad wreck, but the windshield of the bus was shattered and we were stuck on the side of the road for at least an hour. In order to make up for it they gave everyone a voucher to visit a Moroccan spa.
I had never even been to a spa in the United States, so I only had my imagination to tell me what to expect from this Moroccan spa. I couldn’t wait – we had been visiting markets all day, it was hot and we were exhausted. I assumed we were going to get pampered, that’s what spas look like in the movies, right? WRONG – let’s just say my imagination was way off and it was something I will never forget.
Experiences like these are exactly why I love with being abroad – yes of course seeing the beautiful sights is great too, but being completely vulnerable and open to new cultures is unforgettable. You grow the most when you are out of your comfort zone and are able to learn so much about yourself. I’m thankful that I challenged myself to go on this trip, because if I hadn’t I would’ve missed out on so many memorable experiences, and wouldn’t be the person I am today.