The Locations Change, but the Lessons Remain the Same

The Locations Change, but the Lessons Remain the Same

Traveling abroad is a revelatory, frustrating, and gorgeous experience. If you’re considering embarking on a brave and admirable journey through one of Greenheart Travel’s stellar international programs, hooray! Here are some guidelines on what you can expect for your year abroad.

  1. Expect to Develop a Legendary Capacity for Patience, Iago.
    Your ability to remain steadfast in stressful situations will be in direct proportion to the frequency of said situations. The good news? Practice makes perfect. The bad news? Practice makes perfect. Ultimately, though, cultivating a placid demeanor in the midst of chaos will serve you well in your daily life, both at home and abroad. Italy lost your mail for the fifth time, leaving you starving for the peanut butter and Cheetos your mom sent you three months ago? Do not go postal (or to the post office, unless you’re a masochist and want to wait around for 4 hours just so someone can confirm that your package ended up in Barcelona, not Bologna, again, omgggg how does that happen three tiiiiiimes???!!). Breathe in patience, eat an entire ball of mozzarella di bufala, and fugghedaboutit instead. Do the same when you find out that the peanut butter you finally received four months late is being recalled due to health code violations, something about rat poison? Unless you’ve eaten half the jar already. Then just go to the hospital. Patiently.
  2. Expect to Fall in Love, on the Daily.
    Remember that ball of mozzarella I wrote about two seconds ago? It’s the most delectable cheese you’ve ever tasted. That breeze coming off the Gulf of Napoli, bringing with it the smell of the sea, and, by association, freedom? You swoon for an hour. The old man playing chess in the piazza with his dog? You die from cuteness. Humanity is so rare and wonderful and precious, this earth so powerful and dizzying and ecstatic, our existence so startling and confusing and luminous, that you won’t be able to help but feel a little drunk everywhere you go on your travels. Don’t be afraid to be a lush for life! It’s best served straight up, with a twist.
  3. Expect to Bow. Often.
    This is a metaphor. Unless you’re living in Japan. Then it’s literal. Regardless. This next year you’re going to find yourself inclining your head at all the lessons you will learn on this glorious pilgrimage you’ve undertaken, I promise you.
    Even the hard ones.
    Especially the hard ones.

When you travel overseas, something strange happens–you learn to choose courage over fear, to value humility over arrogance, and to live with compassion, not prejudice. You learn radical gratitude, and you practice it just. by. breathing. You transform in this way by stretching past your comfort zone, and sometimes it hurts, yes, and it can be scary, it’s true–but that, too, is a gift and you will appreciate it much sooner than you expect. Again, I promise you.

So what are you waiting for? Be bold. Become the best version of yourself. Travel for a change.

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