Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to eat pasta for five months straight, revamp your Instagram aesthetic, or become the most enlightened person that you know? Well, I’ve been wondering the same, so I studied abroad for six months, and now not only am I the walking epicenter of culture, I’m the U.S. Secretary of it.
I arrived at LAX early in the morning. I was anxious, tired, and hungry— my emotions were raw, but my heart was ready for a life-changing study abroad experience. Unbeknownst to myself, I was unprepared for the effects of brutal culture shock and a language barrier, but nonetheless, I got to London, and I was ready.
I moved into my flat, and all of the sudden I was hanging up life-size posters of the Queen of England as well as thirteen of her relatives. I couldn’t stop thinking about how different Europe is than America, and how I was so lucky to be in the best country ever, you know, where the guy from The Darkest Hour and, like Meghan Markle are from.
After one month in my new home, I began to feel like a new person. I never realised I was lost, until I found myself in London. As not to suffocate my newly discovered nomadic spirit, I moved from my flat into a nearby hostel.
By mid-March, I’d traveled to over 10 countries and Instagrammed or blogged every single one. I think I celebrated St. Patty’s day in Ireland, spent Coachella weekend listening to incredible music in IbiTHa, took photos of that one place with all the white buildings in Greece, and yelled “allez les bleus” while watching futbol (which apparently is the same thing as soccer)!
I FaceTimed my American family, and they kept noting my ‘accent,’— I refer to it as ‘culturally sensitive and adaptive vocals,’ but they’re still working on accepting that. I love my new CSAV (culturally sensitive and adaptive vocals), and I know I was always meant to have them.
I returned home, but now I am a citizen of the globe. America? Never heard of her. My palate is refined, my mind is open, and I basically have a Ph.D. in culture.
This was quite an experience. While it has taken a while to adjust from pounds to dollars, Celsius to Fahrenheit, and English to English, I am thankful for my time abroad and I will continue to bring it up regardless of any requests to stop.
Listen to Talk of Shame, a podcast about being young & dumb. Hosted by 2 drunk girls from The Black Sheep corporate, Mackenzie Harding & Andrea Jablonski. One can’t find her tampon, the other one’s laundry is probably on fire.