I was under the impression that one needs to be either rich, financially stable or have an impressive savings account to travel. None of these applies to me. I'm not rich, definitely not financially stable (yet) and my savings account looks like a joke. I confined myself to work and school for half a year to make myself capable of affording a trip to Europe right after graduation. I flew to Prague, Czech Republic the next day after my graduation for a short study abroad trip. France and Spain were only couple of hours away from Prague from a flying distance. My friend and I decided to knock as many countries down as we could within the limited amount of time and resources we had. We booked tickets to Paris for one weekend and Barcelona the other. I spent two weeks in the heart of Europe, Prague, and soaked in every bit of its beauty. Its architecture was one of those that I had never seen before. I'm convinced fairy tales are inspired by European culture and architecture. Anyway, let's not talk about the places and towns I visited because words will most likely fail to describe the thrilling beauty my eyes witnessed.
Being away from home and living in a hostel only made me ready for adult life. Not a day passed in Europe that didn't teach me a life lesson. This novice Europe-return now has a collection of experiences and lessons to share:
Lesson 1: Traveling alone can be fun.
Lesson 2: You can survive without your phone.
Lesson 3: If someone doesn't speak English, it's because they speak another language.
Lesson 4: You have to get the hell out of your comfort zone and break out of your shell.
Lesson 5: Placing value on experiences rather than your bank balance will take you a long way.
Lesson 6: You should introduce new tastes to your taste buds.
Lesson 7: You now have an impressive answer to questions like, "Why should we hire you?"
Lesson 8: Your perspective of the world is likely to change (for the better) with every traveling experience.
Lesson 9: Traveling is an education - an education that teaches you about different cultures.
Lesson 10: YOLO. You Only Live Once.
I'm never going to be this young again, which also means I'm never going to have this much energy and time. With these two great assets acting as my best friends at this moment in time, I'm already planning my next vacation.
Yamna Ifran is a Summer 2017 student in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently studying General Management & HR Management at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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