I have always dreamt of traveling to different places, such as Ireland, Italy, Greece, England, Australia, you name it I’ve probably looked into traveling there. Well, this year I was lucky enough to get the chance to study abroad in London and Dublin for a nursing course. When I found out I was accepted to go on this trip, I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to be able to cross these places off my bucket list. I learned a lot on this trip not only about culture and course work, but I learned more about myself. Here is what I learned while studying abroad:
1. Getting lost is the best way to learn how to get around.
In London, they have the underground which is their subway system. At first, it was a little tricky to figure out, but once you’re constantly taking the tube you learn it pretty well. Besides public transportation, walking is another way to get lost and discover new things. Walking across the city of Dublin, using a map to get around because your phone has died, is an adventure in itself. Also, if you’re really turned around, just ask for directions people are pretty helpful and nice about pointing you the right way.
2. Try new foods.
If you're picky about food, try to change that. One of the best ways to experience a new culture is to try the food that they eat. On my trip, I tried seafood, stews, and I even had a burger here and there (Dublin has an amazing cattle population and their burgers are banging). Other foods to try are those such as fish and chips, and bangers and mash.
3. Along with foods, the drinks they serve are different as well.
So instead of trying to stick with what you would normally have when you’re going out, give your taste buds something new. Try a wine, hard cider or a beer that you’ve never even heard of. You can always ask the bartender what they recommend or even ask for a taste before ordering. Also, if ordering water in certain places, ask for tap with ice or you'll be charged.
4. Ask the locals where to go.
Yes, you are going to do tourist things, but you should also try to see what it’s like to be a local in these cities. Ask where to go out for dinner, or for a night out or if there is any tourist attraction that they highly suggest seeing. Being a tourist was weird for me because I always complain about the tourists in Manhattan, but hey you’re not just seeing different sites, you're learning about their history, too!
5. Go outside your comfort zone.
In all aspects of the trip, make new friends and try new things. If you don’t know the people that you are traveling with, open up and get to know them because believe it or not you're going to end up with some pretty good friends just after a few days.
6. You learn more about yourself.
You will learn what you like, what you don't like, and how to be independent and get around on your own in a different country. While learning about yourself, you also learn more about the group of people you travel with.
7. Going on this trip was one of the best experiences of my life.
I not only learned about the culture of the places I visited, but it also made me think more of what and where I see myself in the future. I can't wait to see other parts of the world and even revisit these places. My journey is just beginning. Here's to more travels and chasing more dreams! Slainte!