Things I’ve Learned While Traveling

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After my list of Things I Learned During My Time in Ukraine, I knew I needed to once again verbalize some of what I’ve learned during this incredible experience abroad.

So here it is…a list of just a few of the many, many things I’ve learned while traveling and living abroad these past few months:

  1. Traveling is about the people. The sights are fun, but the people make it all worth it.
  2. You will make mistakes when traveling somewhere new. Sometimes you’ll know you’re making them, and other times you’ll be oblivious, but you will do things wrong. And that’s okay.
  3. Always appreciate where you are at. Find the beauty there. What is familiar to you is probably new and interesting to someone seeing it with fresh eyes.
  4. Be willing to set aside the map and get wonderfully lost. What you discover when you do this will be what you will remember in years to come.
  5. There is nothing that makes the world so big as having friends all over the world. There is nothing that makes the world so small as having friends all over the world.
  6. Don’t be afraid to travel solo. You are stronger and safer than you think. You will be okay. You will discover so much. You will explore, make memories, and meet people. And you will learn so much about yourself and be all the better for it.
  7. None of my shoes are suitable for the amount of walking required by a world traveler. Not a single pair. haha…
  8. Take pictures. Put aside your fear of looking like a tourist or of asking someone to take a picture for you. Any embarrassment you feel in the moment will be far less than the regret you’ll have later when the memories are fading and you have no pictures to look back to.
  9. Comfort zones are meant to be broken.
  10. “It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” ~Korean Proverb
    But seriously. No amount of pictures, video, or description can compare to the real thing.
  11. Goodbyes are absolutely heartbreaking. But they are the proof that you have experienced something wonderful and meaningful. They are a sign of a rich experience and wonderful friendship.
  12. Adventure really is the best way to learn.
  13. If home is where the heart is, then I have no home. Because pieces of my heart are scattered all over this big ol’ world.

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You Know You’ve Been Living in the UK for 3 Months When…

  1. You call french fries “chips” and potato chips “crisps” in your regular conversations.
  2. You drink tea all. the. time. Currently, I think I’m at an average of about 2-4 cups a day. (And that’s with both sugar and milk, of course. I know how to brew a proper cuppa.)
  3. You greet everyone by saying “Hiya!” in a sing-songy voice.
  4. When people ask you, “You alright?” you no longer go into a state of deep, psychological soul searching, but just answer, “Yeah.” They’re just asking “How are you?” / “How’s it going?”
  5. You drink squash daily. And, no, I’m not talking about some vegetable puree. Squash here is a liquid juice concentrate (that doesn’t have to be refrigerated, I might add!). You add 1 part squash to 4-5 parts water for a yummy, apparently-less-sugary drink.
  6. You still think Marmite is disgusting. Seriously, it’d take a lot longer than 3 months to get used to that stuff…
  7. Trains are your life. Best form of travel right there. No car needed.
  8. Having cars drive on the left side of the road seems normal to you, and when you visit a country where they do the opposite, you freak out that someone is driving on the wrong side of the road.
  9. You know that Digestives aren’t a pill you take after eating too much, but a cookie so good you probably end up eating too much of them.
  10. It no longer phases you that they don’t keep eggs refrigerated at the grocery store.
  11. You know to refer to your home college/university as “uni” or “university” and not as “college” or “school” so people don’t think you have a lower education.
  12. Instead of saying you “don’t feel like doing” something, you say that you “can’t be bothered” or “can’t be asked” to do it.
  13. You know that clotted cream isn’t some disgusting clot, but something delicious to eat on scones, and that lemon curd isn’t at all related to cheese curds.
  14. You start gearing up for Christmas in November and nobody judges you!! (The one–and only–perk of them not having Thanksgiving over here).
  15. You know that there is not one “British accent,” but that there are actually about a million different regional accents despite the small size of the country.
  16. You’ve actually had tea and crumpets. And are addicted to them.
  17. You can’t think of anything else to add because it’s so ingrained in your daily life. Help me out! If you’ve lived in/traveled to the UK, what other things did you notice?