This is the first time I’ve reblogged another person’s post, but my good friend Kala wrote something that I think the world would enjoy. She’s also teaching English in Spain and in this post she shares some of the ways she’s learned to cope with the challenges of living life abroad (and at home). Give it a read!
Today marks the start of my Spring Break, also known as Semana Santa (Holy Week) here in Seville. I’ll fly to Prague tonight, spend five days there, then head over to Bucharest for a couple of days. Then I’ll come back to Seville and hopefully catch the tail end of the festivities here.
While I always enjoy traveling to new places, I have a tendency to get a little flustered during my trips. Sometimes I worry too much about my travel budget or whether I packed enough clothes. Other times I find myself rushing from sight to sight, not taking the time to appreciate everything I’m seeing. So one thing I want to focus on during this trip is living each day intentionally and mindfully.
That means not abandoning some of my morning routines like meditation and journaling. Those simple habits help keep me grounded throughout my day, and I think being grounded is extremely beneficial while traveling. It allows me to slow down, make better decisions during potentially stressful situations, and enjoy each new experience more fully.
That last part is what traveling is all about, right? It’s so easy to get caught up in a kind of tourism-induced frenzy, rushing from monument to monument, focused more on snapping the perfect selfie than actually enjoying the beautiful sights and sounds around you. But what’s the point of visiting somewhere new if you don’t take the time to really appreciate the experience?
Social anxiety is something I struggled with for most of my teenage and adult life. In this video I talk about how traveling helped me conquer it.
This is my second year living in Spain and I absolutely love it here. Here are 5 reasons why:
Last weekend I decided to take a trip to Lagos, a small city on the southern coast of Portugal. It was a four-hour bus ride from Sevilla and I only stayed one night because of my tight budget, but it was 24 hours well spent.
If you love beautiful views of the coast, cheap food, and a lively bar scene (filled with plenty of English-speakers), I definitely recommend taking a trip out to Lagos. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend some more time there in the near future.
Like most people, I have a tendency to take life really freaking seriously. This usually leads to a lot of stress over truly unimportant stuff. It may seem harsh, but thinking about the shortness of life has become one of my favorite ways to lighten up. Life is so short, the only logical thing to do is to enjoy as much of it as possible.
Lately, I’ve been asking myself why I enjoy traveling so much.
The surface level answers that come to mind are all related to the myriad of different sights, cultures, and people that I come into contact with during my travels. But I think the true answer goes even deeper than that.
Thinking back to my semester studying abroad in Madrid – the first time I had ever been out of the country – what stands out to me most is not any of the things I listed above. To be honest, I took in so many new experiences during those four months that it’s just a blur at this point. A beautiful blur, but a blur nonetheless.
Yet I can see clearly all of the changes that took place inside me during those four months.
I may have looked the same on the outside when I came back home, but I was definitely not the same person as when I left. I saw myself and the world around me a little bit differently. Things that mattered to me before no longer seemed as important. I felt a little less certain about everything I knew, yet more confident in my abilities to handle anything unexpected. A similar internal shift occurred during my nine months teaching in Northern Spain last year.
It’s these internal changes that I’m really seeking out, and travel seems to provide the perfect environment for them to take place.