I'll be honest, embarking on a three hour trip by myself to a new country and not knowing anyone was a little terrifying. I had heard so many horror stories about people getting pickpocketed or kidnapped while abroad, and I was scared something similar would happen to me. Even though I had friends who got their passport and cell phone stolen, I luckily came back to the states with everything I brought with me. I also brought back 10 life lessons I learned about myself while living in another country.
1. It's okay to do things by yourself.
You'll meet new people this way that you probably wouldn't have met if you went with a group of people you knew.
2. Not everything can be done spontaneously, but not everything can be planned.
I've learned it's good to plan ahead for certain trips, but sometimes it's better to leave the plan behind and do whatever feels good in the moment.
3. There are other perspectives on life than the ones you grew up with.
My roommate taught me this one... to seek out other points of view and to embrace the local perspective. Don't knock things until you try them.
4. Put yourself out there when meeting new people, but you also need to be yourself.
Don't do what you think will impress other people. You have to remember who you are and whose you are.
5. Don't beat yourself up if you don't go out every night.
Copenhagen is a BIG party city, and being surrounded by college students means most everyone is going to want to party all night long. I'm not much of a party person any more, so there were some nights I would watch Netflix in my room before going to bed before midnight. There were times I felt major FOMO, but then I reminded myself that I was doing what was best for me.
6. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
You never know what you'll learn!
7. Renting a bike will not only help you discover the city, it will also help you discover yourself.
After all, you can't find the right direction in a new place without getting lost a few times.
8. You cannot just forget your faith when you're away from your home church.
Finding Hillsong church in Copenhagen helped me grow so much over my trip. It made me realize that people everywhere are crazy about Jesus- it's not just subject to one church in the states.
9. If you're ever bored, go to a coffee shop and people watch.
This is one of my favorite things to do in general since I find strangers to be so fascinating. It's weird to think that everyone has a different life outside our own.
10. Get outside your comfort zone.
And don't be afraid to be out of your comfort zone because that's where the most growth occurs.
After my trip, I realized all the worrying I had done beforehand was for nothing. Everything turns out exactly the way it should (with a few surprises here and there).