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Three Lessons I Will Take with Me Forever After Studying Abroad

June 5, 2017

When you move to a country you have never been to, it teaches you things about yourself, about people, about cultures and about your perception of the world. These lessons may be different based on personal experience but here are a few I have found to be vital.

1. Living inside your comfort zone is living in fear

Your comfort zone is not a place where you want to live your life. The only way we grow as people is to be adventurous and to expand our perception of what is ‘comfortable.’ Will Smith said, “The point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear… God placed the best things in life on the other side of terror.” To me this lesson has been one of huge significance in my life. To find the best things in life you have to exit your comfort zone and submit yourself to fear. On the other side of fear are life’s most beautiful and rewarding creations. Life outside our comfort zone is where the richest and most fulfilled versions of ourselves live, and pushing through the fear is what makes finding it so rewarding.

2. Stand up for what you believe in

While living abroad you will meet a lot of different people that have different views of how to live life. You will also start to realize exactly what is important to you and what you believe in. Isn’t that why we travel anyway, to gain new perspectives on life and find what is meaningful to us? People are amazing and the more of them you meet the more you realize this is true. Everyone is different and you will run into a lot of opposing views. The important thing to remember is what you believe in because this is what makes you unique. Yes, perceptions on a lot of things will change which is a really good thing sometimes. However, if you let other people influence you too much and you will never truly understand yourself.

3. Life is too short to not travel while you still can

Society has this perception on how the productive, prosperous, well-done life is supposed to be. A lot of people spend their life trying to live by this sociological dysfunction, by doing what they are expected to do and not doing what they want to do. Life is way to short for that. Don’t buy into what everyone else thinks is the 'right’ way to live. Do whatever makes you happy, and that may be the traditional route but if it’s not then don’t fall into the trap. Traveling when you are young is extremely important, because it allows you to see all the possibilities that life has to offer. It creates a fully informed decision on your own life and the direction you want it to go.

“If we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting the rest of our lives.” –Lemony Snicket

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