Exploration, Travels, & Discoveries
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Relocating to a different country has been more than eye-opening for me. Of course, many of us expect to be immersed in a new culture, way of life, language, or environment. But at times we don’t fully allow ourselves to “live like the romans while in rome”, and that could be partially due to fear. Exploration is not only about traveling to another land or living in another country temporarily. Exploration is about discovering new things and venturing out on things you’ve never done or seen before. Exploration is trying out a dish that you have never eaten or listened to music you just now heard of.
There are many things here in Europe that I have found to be different than in the United States. These things include the slang, the food, transportation ( rely heavily on public transportation), the weather, raves, and so much more. Instead of focusing on differences, I allowed myself to explore more of the culture here and find a way to align my African, American, and now European cultures together. However, there are also similarities. For instance, the majority of the people I have encountered listen to American Musicians in the R&B, Hip Hop and Soul genres. I have been able to bond with the natives of this country because of not only our similarities but also our differences. Many times you find that differences bring people together. The natives here are so interest not only because of my accent, but they want to know more about my life in America, how I was raised, or just how I come with living in a nation with an intense political climate currently. It’s amazing that people want to get to know so much about you, just because I am different from them.
In addition to the exploration of self and people, I believe it is important to travel within the country you are in. Aforementioned, studying abroad is usually a once in a lifetime experience. Before coming to Europe I made it a goal to see at least 5 different cities before going back to America. I have now booked my trips to Barcelona, London, Prague, Milan, and Madrid. Its also really cheap to do so, so why not do it now when I am already in the UK? Exploring can be out of your comfort zone, but the fulfillment afterward is so beautiful and rewarding. I am continuing to explore Manchester itself while still being a student. Although I am only a month and a half into being here, I’ve discovered so much and have found things in common with my home. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, it may be gold and diamonds on the other side of it. All I know is I have experiences to last a lifetime.