What Studying Abroad is All About

1 Nov

Last weekend a very important thought came up.  We were in Malaga and most of the hostels were full, so where would we sleep? Malaga, known for lush fields in Andalusia, wasn’t exactly a big city and it was getting kind of late. Thinking outside of certain comfort zones, the immediate default was to sleep in the car, rather uncomfortably to be honest.

As it got colder, we realized there was a tent in the car, gears started churning, and this led to one of the best nights of my life.

As we set up on the beach for a long night, the fishing rod that was also in the trunk was screwed in and the hours melted away with stargazing, a campfire meal with canned food, and card playing under the brightest moonlight I have ever experienced.

I sat and thought about where I was and how I got there. Under the stars, I realized that these moments where what studying abroad was all about. It isn’t about seeing as much as you can and doing as much as you can fit within a certain amount of time. It’s about changing your perception and enjoying the moment. More importantly, it’s about yourself. And let me tell you, thinking about myself for hours on a beach at night, I learned more than I ever could glimpsing at the Eiffel tower, Big Ben, and the Coliseum in less than 3 days.

I feel like I’m starting to finally know this person who’s been living in my body for so long. More importantly, I like him.  When you remove yourself from comforts, you begin to know yourself in that way.

The sun rose, and the cold water called to us. Exhausted, we made our way back to Seville, with sand everywhere, dirty, hungry, and with the stupidest grins on our faces.

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