My first experience abroad was in 2006. I was just finishing up my Junior year of High School and I was so ready for a change of pace in my life. Always eager to try new things and go outside the norm, I applied for a Summer exchange program. I was accepted and chose to go to Finland, where I stayed for six weeks with a host family. Suomi (Finland) was such an amazing country. I went there not knowing the language and only minimal things to get my by. I left with knowledge, new friendships, and a host family that I now consider my second family.
Fast forward three years, add a confused and uncertain girl…and it’s me at the age of 20. Trying to figure out my life, find out what I really want to achieve and accomplish in it and the mess of relationships, a broken heart and a need for complete and utter change I was ready to get out of my unhealthy environment. After my six week stay in Finland, I instantly knew I had the travel bug. I could have stayed for another six weeks or a whole year and been completely content. So I was set on a mission to include school and travel. Of course I found exactly what I was looking for with a college Study Abroad Program. Destination LONDON, was in motion and I knew this was exactly what I needed. After the grueling application process and second guessing my every step, I knew this was for me and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from my goal. I was accepted and studied in London from September 2009-December 2009.
I had to take advantage of every possible travel opportunity while I was away! I mean come on– it is so inexpensive to get around Europe, there was no way I was passing that up!
My first adventure outside London was Scotland of course! ha ohh the love the Scottish have for the Brits. 😉
Next stop was Barcelona!
My longest trip outside of London was for my Fall break. I had a little over a week off and took a trip with two of my really close friends to Rome and Greece. It was amazing!
I couldn’t leave Europe without visiting the people who nurtured me as a young high school girl! I had to go back to my Finnish family. It was like bringing a baby home from the hospital… sorry I know I sound whacky, but I can’t really explain that feeling. It was the first time in three years I had seen my Finnish Family, but it was like I had never left. We had kept in touch over the three odd years, but this moment, the few days that I had been able to go back.. it just made everything come back, and that felt so amazing. I have to add that this was my only alone trip while I was in Europe for the semester, and I swear it was the most refreshing! I loved traveling alone, I was really proud of myself. 🙂 Okay, I’ll stop being such a cheese ball.
Obviously being a college student and all I was only able to visit a few different countries, but I believe I made the best choices in the places I visited, with the best company.