New Places, New Faces

As the New Year is underway, there is no better time than now to reflect on the past year. 2016 had many ups and downs, but hey that’s life!! When thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 the mundane ones popped into my head: eat healthier, workout and be more positive. However, this year my thought process is a tad different. This semester will mark the second time in my life where I’ll be in a new environment filled with firsts.

Moving to a new city, Charlotte, for college was a pivotal time in my life. It marked the first experience I was truly forced out of my comfort zone. College helped me adjust to a new lifestyle and allowed me to meet new friends who I have shared some of the best memories with thus far. While my time in Charlotte is not over, I can reflect that moving away to a new city helped me find my niche, learn what I desire of my life and get to know myself more.

In 22 short days I will be having a similar experience, however this time in a new country. On January 24th, I will be embracing a new lifestyle in Florence, Italy. This opportunity will provide me with another chance to find my niche, learn more about what life and this world offers, and to grow as an individual. While thinking about this thrilling time I have composed a few resolutions to make the most of my study abroad experience:

  1. Get lost

This one might seem like a no-brainer to those who’ve traveled before. In order to find yourself and realize the simplicity of life one must first get lost. It’s so easy to get caught up in day-to-day routines that you forget who else there is to meet, and what activities and places there are to experience. I am eager to take the road less travelled and find the hidden gems wherever my travel leads.

  1. Unplug and be more present

Oh, social media! I have a love-hate relationship with social media because yes it is great to connect and see what your family and friends are doing, but we waste so much time refreshing our feeds. While constantly being behind our screens, we fixate on what others are doing and miss out on what is right in front of us…There is so much to be appreciated in this world firsthand and not merely behind a camera lens. Traveling teaches us to unplug and enjoy the present without constantly worrying about what is next.

  1. Let myself grow

This semester will be another pivotal period of my life. It marks the first time I am traveling to Europe and living further than two and a half hours away from home. Traveling will teach me to collect moments instead of materialistic items. It will teach me that the world is vast with much to offer. It will teach me that I have the ability to control my life and happiness. Most importantly, it will allow me to grow.

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