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  • Writer's picturemicaylabrewster

What I Haven't Shared Yet About Studying Abroad

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Everything I didn't post on Instagram.

Something I’ve only shared with a very, very small group of people (and now all of the world) is that the night before I left to study abroad in Seville, Spain, I absolutely broke down.

I believe the tears started as I realized how much useless crap I was trying to pack into my suitcases, and they continued until I boarded my flight the next morning. I actually remember a point at dinner when my family and I were maintaining a causal conversation at the table while I had tears streaming down my face. At that point, my constant crying had become that normal. I considered taking a teary-eyed plane selfie a-la Caroline-Calloway once I boarded, but then realized everyone in my row would stare, so I quickly decided against it.

What in the world possessed me to share this with you? I did because that moment marked the beginning of one of the greatest adventures I had yet to embark on in my life. And if you couldn’t tell already, I was absolutely terrified.

I’ve loved that the stories Instagram blogger Caroline Calloway shares have been filled with moments that leave you with a weird mix of jealousy, awe and a deep desire to go out and create your own stories that can match up to her’s. Her hilarity and ability to find fun in everything is inspiring and is why just about everyone I meet has heard about her European adventures with Sicilian princes.

But what I love most are the moments she lets the world in on the not-so-exciting parts of her life. The lows. The real parts. Because it can be easy to gloss over a story and make it seem picture perfect by slapping a filter on it, but that’s not the way true adventures play out. True adventures are full of moments where you look around at your circumstance and think, “How in the heck did I get this lucky to be alive right now?” but also sucky moments when plans get cancelled, nights are uneventful or you’re scared out of your mind.

So many little moments strung together more uniquely sum up my time abroad – not just the highlighted moments on Instagram or on my blog.

I think when we try to narrow down each moment and box it into an “adventure” to show off to the world, we’re missing the point. Our lives are adventures despite how boring we may think our current location is. Every moment can be full of excitement if we choose to pursue adventure despite the fear that can cripple us.

So Caroline, somehow you've made a huge effect on my life, and I just want to thank you for that. You’ve given me dreams to be whisked away on a Vespa by hot guys with royal families, but more importantly, you’ve given me the dream to fully live adventurously in every moment.

Originally published on The Odyssey Online.

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