Last semester I made a lot of changes. I finally took the time to look in the mirror and figure out what things in my life were important to me, and what I wanted to do in my future. I decided after 12 years that I no longer wanted to play basketball, and that if possible, I’d study abroad. Now, I know for some people this may seem like a pretty easy decision. I didn’t enjoy playing the game anymore, and I wanted to experience new cultures, so how hard could it be to decide to go abroad? However, it was one the toughest decisions I’ve ever made, and the biggest change in my life. I mean, it’s pretty weird to stop playing a sport that you have played three seasons a year for eight straight years. But I did it, and have been so incredibly happy with my choice.
Once I started researching study abroad programs associated with my college, I realized that it might not work out. Sure there were programs for art students and engineers in Italy or Ireland. But there weren’t any programs for communication students that didn’t require me to drop $17,000 that wasn’t in my bank account. So I did a lot of thinking, and finally came up with a new plan.
I started considering why I wanted to go abroad, where I wanted to go and for how long. I wanted to go and immerse myself in a different culture-see how people live, what they eat, where they go have fun, etc. I wanted to go back to Europe because I LOVED Italy, but I would want to see other countries like Ireland, England and the Czech Republic. I knew that studying for a semester would be way too expensive, but it would be optimal to go for a long period of time. Then it hit me…why not go backpacking through Europe? I could go during my summer break for a month or two. I could see a bunch of different cities and countries. And I could stay in hostels and try to travel on a budget.
Finally! I had a great plan, was going to conquer the world (or at least Europe) and have an awesome summer! But then I started to wonder, how the heck am I going to do all this on my own?!
That was when I figured it was time to call my best bud, the only person in the world that I could spend six weeks straight with, in a foreign country, without seriously considering chopping her head off–my sister Brittany. When I told her the plan she said, “of course!” and now this is where we’re at.
I couldn’t be more excited about our trip, and the experiences we’re about to have together. Of course I am nervous, but that’s mostly about finances. I have no fear about us traveling or getting lost. Mainly because I know that besides any local or police officer who could point me in the right direction, there is no one else that I’d want with me to figure out my way around a foreign city.
So here’s to change! To finally making choices for myself and going after what I want. To experiencing new cultures and lifestyles, trying new foods and new moves in new clubs! And to making awesome memories and experiences with my sister. Here’s to a new plan!