Living abroad may be a dream come true, but it doesn’t make you any less human. No matter where in the world you are, bad days will still happen (because good days wouldn’t be possible without them!). But to help you keep them in check, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ways to stay physically and mentally healthy while abroad.
Walk everywhere. Staying on your feet is good exercise and an underrated way of exercising on a busy schedule. The breath of fresh air is refreshing and known to heal both the common cold and the unavoidable bad day. You also get to see more of your home city by taking “the road less traveled by.” To make sure I get my steps in, I get off the metro one stop early on my way to class in the morning. Below is a snapshot of my favorite little rooftop from my morning commute.
Eat fresh food. Feel more Parisian by shopping daily, instead the Sunday-evening-grocery-haul that is typical in the States. By doing so, you eat fresher and healthier fruits and vegetables, and you can save money by wasting less. Who doesn’t feel better by saving money and the planet?! For an even cleaner, cheaper option, check out your local street market. Mine is Daumesnil Marchée -- a Tuesday and Friday pop-up market that sells homemade pasta, clean meats and organic fruits and vegetables.
Find places that feel like home. Make your apartment -- however small -- a space that reflects you and your interests. As you can see, I’ve hung plane tickets, postcards and inspirational quotes to remind me of the people and places that are important to me. Out and about in the city, I feel most comfortable surrounded by nature (like Parc Buttes-Chaumont) or enjoying a cup of coffee in a familiar cafe (like Fragments Cafe in Le Marais). And sometimes, I make home come to me! To keep myself from getting homesick and to stay grounded, I usually call my parents on my walk home from class each day. Listening to their voice is the best medicine.
Abigail Haley is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Paris, France, and is currently studying at Ithaca College.