If you're still on the fence about taking a summer trip overseas, here are eight things you should consider when making your decision.
1. The moment you realize the people you're meeting grew up on the other side of the world.Giphy
Nothing puts the world into perspective like having a conversation with someone raised on the other side of the planet. The conversation, perspective and life lessons are invaluable. Before you know it, your life long best friends will in an entirely different time zone.
2. The moment you realize you are surrounded by buildings older than the United States.Giphy
There are few things more humbling than sitting down on the side of the street and leaning against a building built in the 1100s. There are town structures hundreds of years older than our oldest American artifacts, take that in for a moment. Imagine the sheer number of people who have sat exactly where you're sitting.
3. The moment you wake up surrounded by the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen in your entire life.Giphy
It can be so easy to get caught up in the activities and the friends and the photo taking and forget to look around every once in a while. The scenery you see every single day is breath taking. There are few other times in your life that you have ever seen anything so gorgeous. Take a picture or two, set your phone down and appreciate your surroundings.
4. The moment you have a conversation that opens an entirely new perspective.Giphy
It's really easy to think you know it all until you have a five-minute conversation with a new friend and realize that everything you were so sure of is actually only part of the story. Believe it or not, there are things that the US could do better. There are ideas and thoughts that you may have a limited perspective on. Listen more than you talk, and you'll be a better person for it.
5. The moment you meet a family that has lived in the same town for more centuries than you can count. .Giphy
All of a sudden the "famous" family in town that has lived there for 100 years has NOTHING against the villa owners that have owned their land for 10 generations. In the grand scheme of history, the US is toddler-aged — if that. There is nothing that will give you a historical perspective like meeting these incredible townspeople.
6. The moment you try the best food of your entire life.Giphy
Turns out, America ripped off a ton of international cuisines, and let me tell you, they did not do a great job. Trying pizza for the first time in Europe felt like an entirely different type of food. Spending money on eating out may be a waste in the United States, but not overseas.
7. The moment you realize that the world has more to offer than your hometown (no matter how great your town is).Giphy
The realization that your hometown or home state is just a dot in an otherwise enormous world feels like the most liberating realization in the world. A few days after stepping foot on foreign soil, you'll realize how much there is to see.
8. The moment after you leave and can't wait to go back.Giphy
No tears hurt worse than the tears of a departing flight. The memories, photos and relationships will last a lifetime, but you won't truly respect your time overseas until you land back home.
Going abroad for the first time is terrifying, but the lessons you will learn will never leave your heart or your mind. Traveling is an essential part of a well-rounded respectable person. Don't wait. Don't stress. Just do it. You'll thank me later. Heads up though, once you go once, you'll catch the travel bug.