While almost all of my friends are studying abroad and pretty much living their best lives, I’m taking a summer class in my college town and living vicariously through all of their social media posts. And you know what? I’m perfectly content with it. I mean, sure, I used to get jealous whenever a classmate would upload a photo in a foreign country. Now, I’m just thankful I’m getting a peak into the life of a world traveler.

The beauty of Snapchat is that it allows for an authentic viewing experience. I can see whatever it is that another person is up to when they upload a Snap of what they are doing to their story through their eyes. While Snapchat is normally the place I go to when I want to be reminded that everyone is just as boring as I am, over summer, Snapchat is where I go for a firsthand study abroad experience.

I don’t even get F.O.M.O. anymore because it’s like I’m there too. Oh, you’re hang gliding in the Swiss Alps? Guess what, buddy? So am I. I have no idea how it was physically possible for you to film yourself jumping off that cliff with your phone in hand, but I’m blessed that you shared it.

Instagram is also great for pretending to live like a study abroad student, because whenever a user uploads a photo, they will check in a location nine out of ten times. That way, others can see on a map how far away the lucky travelers are away from the country Donald Trump might run one day. Another cool (and borderline creepy) perk of the check-in feature is that I can see other Instagram users who checked in that same location and are living far more interesting lives than I am.

From the moment my study abroad friends uploaded a photo of their passports in hand, it’s as though I have been with them along for the ride.

Having pint of Guinness in Dublin? Cheers.

Taking a gondola ride in Venice? Sounds lovely.

Surfing in Sydney? Cowabunga.

Riding an elephant in Thailand? I literally didn’t even know that was a thing.

I may sound petty, but I’m trying not to be. I’m just trying to live with the fact that I’m going to graduate in a year and because I’ve never studied abroad in college, I probably will never travel the world and therefore die a sad, uncultured life. So yes, I’m going to pretend I’m there, too.

It’s all about perspective, my friends.


Shout out to all of my friends who gave me permission to use their incredible study abroad pictures!