The past six months have been nothing but the best of my life! Okay, the best times I had so far as a college student. Looking back to how I was in January ’til today, I can say a lot has changed not only with my surroundings but with myself as well. I’m blessed to have such an opportunity and the experiences will always be priceless and unforgettable. I miss everything in Europe but it’s great to be home! I share below the top lessons I learned while I was there.
IT’S OKAY TO GET LOST. My trip from Austria to Switzerland ended up to 14 hours instead of 10 because I hopped on the wrong train – TWICE. It’s okay to wander – you never know what you discover! Lifewise, it’s still okay. Someone once said, ‘getting lost is a good way to find yourself.’ (refer to the next bullet)
IT’S OKAY TO BE ALONE. When I’m by myself, I tend to reflect more on my life. It’s not as sad as you think. I believe these are the moments where I somehow grew up. Also in Europe, you really fend for yourself. It’s not like here in the Philippines where you have house help to extend a hand. Although I must confess that travelling alone is somewhat sad (more about that on my next travel post), having it done by myself gave me a sense of achievement.
APPRECIATING THE PHILIPPINES MORE. My foreign friends were all ears when I narrated about the Philippines. They are very fascinated with how things run here. I missed the Philippines so much while I was away, especially the food and having been able to speak either Tagalog or English, not having to struggle much with my French (I’m still poor in speaking it). There are, after all, a lot of things to be proud of as a Filipino. 🙂
THE SMALL THINGS MATTER. Becoming home sick is part of it – as much as I loved everything about Europe, I missed my family and friends dearly. I looked forward to every package I’d get in the mail, as well as talking to them through Whatsapp or Facebook. I thank technology for creating the world wide web since I am able to be close to my family even if I’m a thousand miles away.
IF THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY. Travelling is indeed expensive. The costs can crush your dreams to go to places you like but promos and student discounts are your lifesavers! I purchased a Eurail global pass – though it being a hefty price upon purchase, I have saved hundreds of Euros worth of train and bus trips.
WHEN A DOOR CLOSES, A WINDOW OPENS. The trip also made me depressed somewhere in the middle of it, I must confess. Home sickness was a part of it as well as other factors. I’m blessed to have a family to back me up and remind me that I’m strong. God surely lights up the end of the tunnel when it gets dark at the foot of the alley. 🙂
SEIZE THE MOMENT. “Exchange isn’t a year in your life, it’s a life in a year.” – Alana Megan Augart 🙂
I made a video below of the summary of my exchange program in Europe, as well as the links to my travels. Enjoy!
TWY: Paris (II)
TWY: Monte Carlo / Nice, France
TWY: Madrid, Spain
TWY: Barcelona, Spain
TWY: Etretat, France
TWY: Avignon, France
TWY: Salzburg, Austria
TWY: Vienna, Austria
*COMING SOON: Switzerland, Lourdes, France; Paris (III), Hello Kitty Eva Air