Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. I have always had a problem feeling content where I am and my heart just never feels full. In Evansville, where I currently live now in the USA, is the best place that I have lived so far.
I think that is a major reason as to why I wanted to study abroad; I wanted to feel full inside. I wanted to feel like I found the place where I truly belonged. That didn’t happen. That won’t happen. Honestly, in the entirety of my life, I may never feel 100% comfortable where I am.
I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go to college because nothing ever felt right. I transferred schools after my freshman year and I couldn’t even decide where to transfer. I am glad that I decided to transfer to USI though! Indecision has always plagued me a bit. On the outside, I seem to be organized and not as contemplative as the small child inside me who is trying to face the real world. Family drama has always been a huge part of my dislike for my hometown and a large factor as to why I left and have no plans of returning for any significant amount of time.
Studying abroad has helped me to realize that it is okay to not feel comfortable. Little bits of my heart are scattered around the USA and now around the world. Some places have things that I absolutely love and some that I absolutely hate. Sure, if I could put all of those into one place and create my own utopia, that would be spectacular. This is not the case. I am a perfectionist, and I probably always will be. I cannot expect the things around me to be “perfect” so that I can feel more in control of my life. It isn’t healthy and it certainly isn’t healthy to search for such a thing.
I think that finding the place where your soul is meant to be is super important. It’s sort of like dating I guess. You look around, “interview” different places, then finally you have an ‘aha’ moment and realize that you’ve found your soul-city-mate. What would be even better is if you found your soulmate, in your favorite place. But that’s just a side note completely unrelated to studying abroad ;).
Anyway, don’t be afraid to explore the world. It may not help you to realize where you want to live, what you want to be, or whom you want to love, but it surely will help you realize what strength you have inside of you. What beauty the world has to offer. The brightness and the power of the morning sun will never seem so intense as it does when you are in a new place. Everything is more powerful. Everything will shape you. Questioning hearts like mine are always looking to explore and to stimulate my eyes with new architecture, foods, and cultures. Studying abroad is surely life-changing on so many deep and complex levels that it is almost foolish to write about. Each experience is so unique that trying to sum up the gain from going abroad is impossible and unimportant.
The highs & the lows, the confusion, the fun, the lonely nights, and the friends you will make. They all will cultivate you into someone different. Someone remarkably fresh and transformed into a more mature version of yourself. Trust in the experience, trust in a higher power, and trust in yourself to take on this incredible adventure.
Honestly though, check out how stinkin’ beautiful the world is.