Wow! I can’t believe I’ve lived in South America for a total of 7 months.
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Half a year of living on another continent. Half a year of learning another language. Half a year of living in another culture.
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It’s crazy to think about all the things I’ve done / learned in the past 7 months. And, I couldn’t possibly explain them all in one post. So, instead, here’s a list of 7 things I learned during my experience living in South America for 7 months:
1. This first one’s obvious: I couldn’t live in South America without learning Spanish! I’ve learned a lot of Spanish, and realized that I love learning languages! See post: Foreign Language Classes Abroad!
2. I learned a lot about budget traveling, and how to budget with foreign currency. See post: Budget Travel Tip #1!
3. I learned how to successfully, and happily spend the holidays while solo traveling abroad. See post:Abroad for the holidays!
4. I learned a lot about Patience. So much so, that I think it might be a separate post. Coming soon! 😉
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to travel, & step out of your comfort zone because it’s truly the best decision you will ever make. And, although, traveling comes with ups and downs, one thing is for sure, I don’t regret one minute of my time abroad.
“It’s history You can’t rewrite it You’re not meant to be trapped inside it Every tear brought you here Every sorrow gathered Yeah, it’s history And every mile mattered“
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Life is full of ups and downs…
it’s full of good decisions and bad decisions…
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Right now you’re either at a point in your life that you’re super proud of, or you’re telling yourself everyday that you’re a disappointment.
Things are either going your way or not quite what you want, but, either way you are always making decisions that will impact your tomorrow self. Those decisions could change your life in an instant (good or bad).
So, just remember that, next time you are faced with an important decision, just know that whatever you decide you will inevitably learn something from it.
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“Every Mile Matters!”
You see, travelers don’t get disappointed when they don’t see/do exaxtly what they wanted in a new country because they know that what they did see mattered and will probably lead to something else that will be unexpectedly amazing.
“Every decisions has an impact!”
Just like in life, you can’t get disappointed when you think you made a terrible mistake. You can’t wish you chose the other option; all you can do is live in the moment and learn from every decision you make each day.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you in some way! 🙂
So, “stranger danger” can’t really be in my vocabulary anymore.
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Remember when you were young, and your parents told you not to talk to strangers? Well, that comes with a lot of terms and conditions, the biggest one being: Traveling. P.S. I’m not talking about those creepy strangers in white vans (you should definitely fear them), I mean those people that you act shy around because you don’t really know them.
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I mean, seriously, though, it’s crazy how many strangers I’ve spoken to while living here in Chile. And, for me, even just talking to people I know is sometimes difficult, but living here for 3 months has taught me that I don’t have to be so scared because people are just people and they’re not all scary.
I’ve realized that the fear I had about talking to people was stupid; I learned to just talk to people without being scared or fear of being judged.
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When I first got here, I was so nervous to meet my host-family (I thought they would hate me) and I was not at all confident in my Spanish (this didn’t help my nervousness).
But, after living here for 3 months, I’ve started to really get to know my host-family (they’re actually really nice) and I started to let the nerves go and start speaking to them and strangers in Spanish.
And, in doing those things, I’ve started to feel so much more confident when speaking to stranger and I’ve learned so much more Spanish.
At first, I was so scared of being judged for my accent in Spanish that I would barely even speak in a day. But, after a while, I started saying small sentences each day and eventually worked up the courage to start having conversations in Spanish. And, now I can actually say that I can “fluently” speak Spanish (I use fluently loosely because I still stumble with certain words, but for the most part, I can hold a successful conversation).
After getting over my fear of speaking to strangers, I had to get over my fear of being judged for my accent. And, it hasn’t been easy, but definitely worth it because now, I can say that: -I am no longer afraid to speak to strangers. AND -I can officially speak 3 languages (some much better than others, but I can still understand and be understood in all 3).
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So, all this to say that, if you ever fear public speaking (or just speaking to strangers), just remember the cliche sentence:
Nothing good ever comes from your comfort zone,
stepping out is the best decision you will ever make!
And, if you too are trying to learn a new language, here’s my best tip for you:
Learning a completely new language isn’t possible overnight,
it takes a lot of humiliation, work, perseverance and courage.
Those two things might be very difficult and seemingly impossible tasks, but, they are always worth working toward because they could change your life in so many ways.
So, next time you are faced with one of these situations, remember:
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspired you to go conquer your dreams!
Are you gonna keep saying: “one day I’ll accomplish that thing I’ve always wanted“?
– OR –
Are you going to: “start today and make today, day one of accomplishing your dreams and goals”?
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That’s all for this post. I just wanted to give you some quick food for thought to get you motivated to start accomplishing your goals today and stop saying: “one day”. And, start saying: “today is, day one of my journey to accomplishing my goals”.
Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. -Robert H. Schuller
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So, before I begin, I should start by saying that I don’t know the person who said that quote, but, when I read it, I immediately remembered one of the main reasons why I made the decision to live here, in Chile, for 3 months.
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I knew that living here was going to be very different, and I would have to adapt to a lot of new things. I also knew, from experience, that travel teaches amazing & valuable skills & knowledge and it helps with (mental, physical & spiritual) growth. So, let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly terrified of this trip, and making this decision was pretty easy for me because I love traveling anyways. But, I still had some doubts in me about this decision (like, was it even the right one?). And, the only thing that kept me from letting doubt win was the excitement of travel, and knowing that I was doing something that would better myself and my future. I knew deep down that this trip was going to shape me and my future in some amazing way, and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to travel more, grow more and shape my future.
Traveling shapes us in a way we don’t realize, until we come home & see what changed in our minds!
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That quote is a good reminder to have faith in your future, and to not let today’s hurts and fears stop you from accomplishing your dreams. It reminds you that, how you feel today does not define your future because if you keep hoping, praying and working, your dreams will become reality and you will be able to say that you accomplished your goals. It reminds you that even though traveling has tough moments (culture shock, fear of flying, fear of the unknown, etc.), it’s all worth it in the end because you’re working towards creating a better you and a great future for your better self. And, in that future, culture shock, flying & fear of the unknown will not be as foreign to you.
You might even, actually, start to love those aspects of traveling (I know, I definitely have).
Hurts only last for a period in time! But, Hopes can lasts forever (as long as you never lose your hope)!
So, whatever it is that’s stopping you from doing something amazing, put it aside and let your hope and faith in your future guide your decision because being hopeful is much better than being fearful.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to go out & live your dreams because you should never let your hope fade & your hurts win!
Kill the hurts & fears by letting your hopes & dreams shape your future!
Seeing something with your own eyes is always better!
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I came across this image earlier today, and I just had to share it because it’s so great.
If you’re even remotely considering traveling abroad, just go.
Don’t ask people for their opinion, unless they’ve been to that country and they love traveling, or else you will get discouraged before you even book your ticket. Go form your own opinion while being in your chosen country!
And, although it is a good idea to be informed about the country you are going to, don’t watch too much news about that country.
News people love to create a good story, so chances are they’re exaggerating some of the details.
Be informed, but keep some learning for when you arrive in the country. Don’t learn everything before you go because learning abroad is much more fun and rewarding.
You also need to pick a country that you really want to visit, so no one candiscourage you from going.
And, then, don’t think about it too much, just go see for yourself because anything anyone says is a biased opinion about their experiences or thoughts about that country.
You will probably (most definitely) have a completely different experience.
Lastly, travel is a personal decision and only you can decide if you want to or not because only you will be changed in your own specific way in the country you choose. It’s your adventure! But, one thing that I can say from experience is, that once you decide to go see another country, you will never be able to un-see it. The experience of traveling and exploring that country will stay with you forever. Luckily, it’s an amazing experience and the memories will will leave you wanting to travel even more!
So, as the picture says:
Don’t listen to what they say! Go see for yourself! Go travel and explore a new & different country!
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspired you to travel and experience something new!
A different type of post that I haven’t done yet on this blog, but I wanted to try it out. Let me know what you think in the comments (when you finish reading).
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I’m just going to write what-ever and how-ever I would, as if we are best friends just casually meeting for a cup of coffee to catch-up. Here’s what I would tell you:
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Hey! 🙂 So, as you probably know, I am currently living in Chile and I am loving every second of it. But, I didn’t always feel this way. . . . A few weeks before this trip, I was super excited and I couldn’t wait. And, then, I went to drop off my uniform and keys at work (where I worked for almost 8 months), and that’s where it really hit me. I was just working at this job, waiting for something better to come my way. And, now, it was finally happening. I was quitting my job to go live in another country (that’s been an item on my bucket list for a while and I was finally going to fulfill this life-long bucket list goal)! But, although I was VERY excited, I kept thinking: Am I ready for this new adventure? This is something I’ve never done before? I mean, sure I’ve lived in another province and traveled to many different countries, but, that was still in my home country or with people I knew. This was completely new, different and alone, What is it going to be like?
I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous and excited and anxious, all at the same time! But, I was leaving in a few days, and I was ready!
Nothing was going to change my mind.
I wanted to experience this new adventure, no matter how nervous or anxious it made me!
And, although, I was nervous, I used those nerves to keep me excited until I got on that first plane on my way to Chile. And, although I’ve been on many planes, that plane ride was probably the most confusing one for me because I was excited and nervous (I’ve never been nervous on a plane before this moment). Because I just knew that once I landed, there was no turning back (I’m not one to give-up, I was going to experience this journey until the end). I would just have to fight through any culture shock that came my way (this was harder than I thought for the first few days/week).
But, I kept reminding myself:
“Don’t be afraid of the unknown; It won’t be unknown forever, just take that step into it and learn about it!”
So, that’s what I did every time I felt culture shock; I learned something from it. And, since that confusing travel day, I’ve been living here for exactly one month today. And, I can definitely say that living in a new country is VERY exciting (I’m loving it so far). But, it also has it’s tough moments. The biggest moment for me was the language, although that’s also the reason why I’m here (to practice and learn more Spanish). Sometimes it can be frustrating to learn a new language because people will want you to speak their language, but they will also make fun of you for your accent and the mistakes you make. But, I’ve learned that, that’s just part of learning and becoming fluent in a new language.
“Laughing with others at your own accent & mistakes will help you learn so much more (about yourself, the language & the culture).”
And, today, after living here for one full month, I can really say:
“This new adventure has been amazing so far. I’m so glad that I didn’t let those nerves stop me from coming here, & that I didn’t give up when the language got too difficult because this is definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever taken (and I still have 2 months to go). I’m SO excited for the next 2 months”.
…And, that’s what I would say…
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspired you to get over what-ever fears you have about traveling because I promise you that it will be the best decision you ever will ever make.
Now, it’s your turn:
If we met for coffee, What would YOU tell ME?(comment below or email your answer, whichever way you prefer to chat)