Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comfort I have one of those?

It disappoints me when I see people of any age miss out on AMAZING experiences (particularly traveling) because he or she doesn't want to go out of his or her comfort zone. I know it seems like a scary thing to do, but I promise you won't regret it! Even if you end up hating ended up learning something new about yourself right?

If you're presented with an opportunity to travel abroad I have two words for you...DO IT!

Now I'll admit...I don't like to take risks...I'd rather stay on the safe route. I don't like "going with the flow" because I like organization and knowing what will happen next. However, when an opportunity like studying abroad presents itself, you better believe that my happy little tail will be filling out the paperwork!

Some people are afraid to study abroad because they feel they'll be the odd one out or (for all you minorities out there) the only minority on the trip in that country. Who cares!? I've been the only Black person on MANY trips abroad but it doesn't even phase me because I'm too busy taking in the breathtaking sights and admiring the day to day life of people different culture. In fact, when I travel abroad, I don't even see myself as being a race. I am simply an individual who got a once in a lifetime opportunity to see mind blowing things.

My first trip out of the country was to Saltillo, Mexico in 2005. That's when I knew I didn't have a comfort zone. Not having working faucets and having to have bowel movements in a trashcan will change you, but it was a missionary trip so it was worth it.

That same summer I went to London and experienced the London bombings. Life changing.

Then in 2007 I traveled to Paris for Spring Break.

And in May 2009 I traveled to Paris, Florence and Rome for a study abroad course in Art History.

Maybe it's because my parents have traveled so much that I'm not afraid to go to other countries and face the reality of poverty or enjoy the luxuries of world class living, but YOU shouldn't be afraid either!

So you're afraid of flying? 1) Plane crashes happen less than car crashes do... so unless you don't drive either...then I can't help you. 2) On planes traveling abroad you get full dinners and breakfasts AND a vast array of TV shows or movies you want to watch! 3) You can always sleep...catch up on some reading...knit...normal activities you don't have time for when you're at home you can do on the plane to Ireland or Greece!

What? You're afraid someone will kidnap you!? 1) Stick with your group leader at ALL times (if traveling in a group) 2) If you get time to explore...please DON'T TALK to shady looking people that give you a weird feeling in your stomach. 3)Cause a LOUD commotion like you're fighting for your life and people will come to help :)

Eww...the food...what's in it? 1)Unless you have known allergies to a certain food, EAT UP! I HATE tomatoes and onions and mushrooms, but bruschetta is the most amazing food that my mouth has ever tasted. 2) Don't be disrespectful if you don't know what something is. Don't say "Umm...what the HECK is this?" Ask a friend on the trip and if you both don't know what it is, hold your nose and shove it in! It can either be the grossest thing you've ever tasted or the BEST!

Lost luggage? 1) Then you can use this opportunity to buy a WHOLE new set of wardrobe and then you can say "Oh I bought this while I was in China SUCKA!" 2) Get a HUGE suitcase that is purple with blue and yellow polka dots that says "SEE WHAT HAPPENS IF THIS GETS LOST....I DARE YOU!" on the information card and see if they lose it.

Umm....the cost? 1) Trust, there are many ways to get money to go abroad! Scholarships, grants, financial aid, getting a job and making monthly deposits, family 2) Just be enthusiastic when talking to the program coordinator or director about the trip and how you may not have the expenses for it and they'll be in your back pocket trying to help!

Screw your comfort zone! You can always come back to it once you get home! Until then, abandon it and see what's in store for you!

P.S. Try to dress nice and not look like one of those American tourists that everyone seems to hate lol

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