As I am beginning the second half of my semester abroad, there are many things I have learned about taking advantage of every second you have while abroad.
Recently I had a two-week spring break. This is unheard of in the states, but seemed normal to most students here in Italy. When my friends and I realized this at the beginning of the semester, we knew we had to take full advantage of this time off to cross many cities off our lists.
After hours of searching on Google Flights, Sky Scanner, and Go Euro we had the perfect two weeks planned to the minute. It was time to begin our break, everyone packed in just a carry on and a backpack, it was going to be the most adventurous two weeks of our lives.
From London to Amsterdam, Brussels to Paris, Prague to Budapest, we had a packed full two weeks. I will say, you learn a lot, not only about the cities but certainly about yourself when traveling for that long, hostel to hostel. You learn that alone time is necessary, that sleep is important, and time flies.
Some things I’ve learned
It is important to read about the history of cities before going. We have many different cultures in the U.S. alone, but imagine traveling from country to country, you’ll be in for a bit of a shock. It is easy to forget what languages they speak as you are traveling, so it is crucial to look up and remember basic greetings and phrases before you arrive.
Some things I wouldn’t change
Always travel with people you get along with. Take the time to meet locals. Go on free walking tours. Wake up early, and get lost in a city. Take tons of photos, but remember to be present.
Some things I won’t forget
The connections you’ll make. The breath-taking views. The unforgettable food. And certainly, the times you almost miss your bus, or getting stuck in the rain for hours in a line.
It is important to take time for yourself, and get rest. Two weeks of straight travel was not easy mentally or physically, but if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would!