The Dublin + Amman trip is my first time in Europe and the Middle East and only my second time out of the country because I went to Canada when I was 12. However, since I was so young it feels like I have truly never been out of the country and everything is very new to me. Along with this, it can be very hard and new to get acclimated especially if you’re travelling with people who are ‘seasoned’ travellers.
A majority of the students on this excursion with me have travelled to many places and when you hear this and compare it to your situation if you haven’t traveled much, it can leave you feeling quite down and out. What I have come to realize when studying abroad with a group is do NOT compare yourselves to others. People come from so many backgrounds and lifestyles. So, you might be on a trip with someone who has more money to spend, travels constantly, and is very accustomed to the currency changes, airplanes, and public transportation. Even so, you have such an amazing opportunity to learn and just because you maybe didn’t travel growing up, does NOT mean that you are any worse off. It can be hard to accept this and is a perfect example of culture shock that one can experience even within their own country. Just know there are more people in your situation than you think and you are not alone.
A quote that has gotten me through this first week is “you do you”. As short and maybe even a little cliche as it is, it encapsulates so much truth. You know your life and you do not have to prove anything to anyone. Spend what you can, go out when you can, stay in if you want. There is no need to succumb to the pressures and ways of someone else’s lifestyle. The fear of missing out is real and prominent and do make sure you have fun, but there is a way to have fun, be smart, and feel confident!
I have found myself so enthralled by the beauty of travelling and experiencing new cultures and have taken in every moment, taken every picture (even of the airplane window). Don’t feel ashamed for being amazed, because no matter how much you travel astonishment will always be a facet of it.
This is only the beginning of your travel journey and that’s what I tell myself often. You will remember these moments forever. Not only will you experience the cultures of those in the country you are visiting, but also those you are traveling with. Rather than make it a negative experience, use the variation of different personalities to expand your knowledge of all kinds of people.
I have learned that I am not a product of my circumstance. Growing up in a working class family and constantly worrying about money is part of me, but will not inhibit my dreams! Take who you are and roll with it, embrace your diversity, and realize that things aren’t always as they appear on the surface.
You got this!