As many of you know, traveling and “studying” abroad was one of the best times of my life for so many reasons. I knew that the 5 months of living in Sydney, Australia would go by far too fast so I wanted to experience everything that I could manage to do, physically and financially (thanks Mom and Dad!).
I, like many of my friends, tried to take a trip at least every other weekend and see all that I could do in order to maximize my experience and my time abroad.
And damn, I did some amazing things…
- Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef
- Cruising through Milford Sound in New Zealand
- Swimming with sharks off Australia’s coast
- Playing with monkeys in Thailand and so much more
I did some incredible things and met some even more incredible people, with whom I will surely remain lifelong friends. I am very grateful for these experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.
However, as expected, my time abroad came and went much too fast and the complaints began to roll in from my friends and I about returning to “the real world”. And why wouldn’t we? Our time abroad was our time to LIVE – do all we could, see all we could and come back with some lifelong memories. But now, study abroad was over, it was time to return home, and time to go back to our normal, routine, and boring schedules at home. No more adventures, no more exciting trips — those days were over… At least until the next family vacation or spring break trip if we’re lucky.
Well, frankly, that’s bullshit.
Sure, maybe the beaches aren’t crystal clear at home like they were abroad or there aren’t gorgeous exotic women with accents nearby or monkeys aren’t ripping articles of jewelry and/or clothing off of you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t maximize our time and live to the fullest no matter where we are. There’s beauty and adventure all around us, we just haven’t spent the time to look…
Which brings me to the point of my post:
It’s time to start living abroad, AT HOME.
And no, you don’t need to book a flight to Fiji or to the Caribbean or go broke like you did when you studied abroad. You don’t even need to spend money — you just simply need to break your routine, experience something new and different. Some have called this “taking a micro-adventure” which I think is a perfect way to describe it. Doing this simply means exposing yourself to new environments and surroundings causing you to learn new things and think differently. It could be as simple as taking the long way home, going to that random bar or park you have always driven by or simply going for a camping trip a half-hour away with a few buddies for the weekend.
You don’t need to restrict yourself to living fully just because you’re at home. It’s time we started living life at home as we did if we were abroad.
Maximize your time, live to the fullest and build lasting memories no matter where you are. Life is too short not to.