How Traveling Changed Me

“Knowing that you can be in a foreign country by yourself, without speaking the local language, and still manage to get along is a very empowering feeling. I even celebrated my birthday alone living abroad this year. Having lived abroad as an expat more than once (and still am), I know I can be fine anywhere I go. I now consider myself a global citizen, rather than just the citizen of where I come from.”

At first the change was unnoticeable, but then it hit me by surprise.

It was when I arrived home for the summer after living and traveling in Europe for a year that I realised that I no longer was the same person that left home a year earlier. At the time, I could not point out what had changed, but I can now: I became a multicultural, globetrotter and wanderluster.

Call it as you wish, but I was now a completely different person. No longer living in the bubble of my home country meant that I had less in common with my old friends living in the small town in which I grew up. It meant that I knew exactly what I wanted from my life. I was left with a strong desire to continue to explore the world.

Traveling the world will make you develop new friendships with people from all around the world. It will teach you about other cultures, foreign languages, and different ways of life. Learning about history from textbooks is not the same as seeing places with your own eyes: ancient Roman ruins, architecture, museums. I even found my personal style evolving according to the European influences around me. Traveling will also make you independent. Knowing that you can be in a foreign country by yourself, without speaking the local language, and still manage to get along is a very empowering feeling. I even celebrated my birthday alone living abroad this year. Having lived abroad as an expat more than once (and still am), I know I can be fine anywhere I go. I now consider myself a global citizen, rather than just the citizen of where I come from.

Only people that have traveled long-term, or have lived abroad could understand what I’m attempting to describe: that special feeling that you are now an improved version of yourself. Indeed, travelling is an enriching experience that will make you smarter, stronger, and more independent. Traveling changed me mainly because it made me realise exactly what I want in my life. I want to be happy, never settle, and never work in a job that I don’t enjoy.

However, knowing what you want comes with a negative side as well. I’m talking about that feeling of knowing what you’re missing out on, that life is better somewhere else. For example, having visited Italy and eating their delicious food, I now know what I’m missing out on while eating Italian food in London. Or having partied in Spain and Greece, I can no longer get excited by the nightlife in my hometown. Perhaps it would have been better never knowing how amazing NYC is, or London, or Paris. Because now know what I’m missing out on when I’m not there. Or perhaps, maybe it is “better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

Click here to check out how Hadas spent her birthday alone in a foreign country!

 

Originally written by Hadas Aharon via www.thefashionmatters.com