1 Adjusting to the new food, water, and general atmosphere can be hard on the body
I had not been forewarned that between all of the walking, dancing, and drawing, I'd have my face stuck in a toilet, a trash can, or out of a window.
Throughout the entire four months I was in Paris, I experienced nausea during random times. I never did figure out what was setting my stomach off, or if it was just that France's water and food was so very different from the low quality trash in America that my little, frail body couldn't handle such a sudden change.
Upon further investigation...aka talking to other people who had traveled internationally, I discovered that it is not that uncommon for some people's bodies to have a hard time adjusting to the different food and water regardless of whether the food and water tastes good or not.
2 A place that was once so unfamiliar can make you never want to leave
I still ask myself to this day... "Why did you come back to America, bitch? Go back to Paris!"
Living and traveling internationally can really change your perspective on where it is you come from and open up your mind to different ways of thinking and living. I think that it is a different experience to study abroad or live as an expat rather than just going on a short vacation because when you have time to settle into a new country, there's a lot more time to explore and really discover what makes this new place so different. You have so many days to just sit back and observe and fall in love with your new location to the point that you may think about never returning to wherever it is you came from.
3 There are better places to live than America
*gasps* How dare I say such a thing!! Everyone knows that the United States is the best place to live in the entire world!! 🙄🙄🙄🙄
Forgive my lack of patriotism but that's untrue. If America and it's "work until you die" culture is literally killing you, moving to another country might just be an excellent life choice for you.
Traveling abroad gives you the opportunity to live in different cultures which may just fit your lifestyle and finances a lot better than any place in America. Not to say that there aren't hundreds of American cities that might be calling you, but limiting yourself to America is unnecessary and will also limit your personal growth and the experiences you can only have by traveling abroad.
4 Once you fall in love with experiencing new cultures and traveling abroad, you'll want to do it over and over again
5 If you love to shop, you want to leave a lot of space in your suitcase
Given the amount of thrifing I did while in Paris, France, I ended up having my luggage be overweight when I tried to board my return flight to America.
This can be avoided if you just...bring less stuff. Which is a rule of thumb I will follow for any longstay vacation I take abroad for the rest of eternity.
6 The new experiences I gained from my study abroad trip in Paris, France forever changed me
As a dance and art student in a study-abroad university education program, I wasn't on just a long international vacation to relax. I had college classes to attend and dance lessons to run to. Actually living in Paris means that you become familiar with the different metro stops and neighborhoods of the city and have a lot more time to really explore.
You may find yourself whiling away days taking leisurely park walks or brooding for hours over a cafe in a local coffee shop. Paris, France is where I truly perfected the art of eating alone. Something that is not frowned upon as odd in that country.
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