Experiences are worth the cost – You thought you knew this before but your understanding of this truth increases dramatically living abroad. Being in a new country motivates you to explore and experience as much as you possibly can, at whatever cost. You recognize that your budget is important but you also realize that life is short and you have to make the most of it. Instead of wasting money on useless things you spend it on a plane ticket to another country. You become smarter with your money too, replacing souvenirs with memories, and opting for the less glamorous accommodations – but you learn that staying in a questionable hostel in Paris is better than not being in Paris at all.
You can sleep when you’re dead – As someone who loves sleep more than almost anything else, this seems like strange advice to give/follow. However in the context of traveling, it makes all the sense in the world. Knowing how fast life passes by, you realize that every moment is precious. You especially want to savor every second of your time abroad, because before you know it, your time will run out and you’ll be left wondering why time travel isn’t a thing yet. Bottom line is, yes sleep is important, but when you have a timer running on the best experience of your life, you better be living every moment to the fullest. (You can thank me later.)
Escape your comfort zone – This lesson is actually easier than it seems. Yes, you still have to make a conscious effort to try new things and take risks, but being abroad naturally forces you to do this, making the process that much easier. You’re constantly experiencing and trying something new, so that’s already a baby step out of your comfort zone. The real challenge here is in taking risks. You learn that taking risks is necessary and absolutely worth it because the end result is almost always positive. The only thing you can regret from studying abroad are the things you didn’t try and the risks you didn’t take.
Abroad friends are the best friends – The friends you make abroad are some of the strongest bonds you will ever form in your life. These will be the only people in the world who will be able to fully understand and relate to the exact moments in time that you will treasure forever, because they were there and experienced the same thing. This mutual experience will bind you to these people forever, even if you’re not the best at keeping in touch down the line. But you will keep in touch, because you will want to hold on to those feelings forever and reminisce about every experience. You will rely on these friends to fill in the missing details of an ordinary day abroad, which you might have forgotten, and you will cherish that bond forever.
Wanderlust is permanent – “Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life” (Michael Palin). Travelling is addicting. The wanderlust intensifies even more with time and you constantly crave adventure. Your need to go to a new country, explore a new city, and repeat that feeling you had when you were abroad consumes your entire being and never really goes away. You are no longer just a tourist, you are a lifelong traveller. This is a beautiful feeling because you know you will do absolutely anything to travel as much and as often as possible and it will make you the happiest person in the world. Living abroad changes you forever, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
A working professional and a lifelong dreamer, Bohdana strives to merge her passions with her everyday reality. She is a proud Ukrainian and a loyal Chicagoan (despite the winters). She loves traveling, reading, pursuing self-improvement, and sharing her stories. Allow this blog to bring you motivation and inspiration on your own journey to rise beyond.