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It more than just Wanderlust [ Travel Diary 1]

You know those butterflies you get when you see your crush? Or that feeling after your last final that separates you from summer? Well, imagine that times 10. That’s what traveling is like for me.

 

When I say, I love to travel, people say well of course, who doesn’t love to go on vacation and have no responsibilities? This is not an expensive hobby or a simply a vacation for me. Traveling goes beyond what beautiful and perfect Instagram snapshots and blogs fail to show you. I won’t lie, those photos do hold up to the beauty and the jealousy that stems but let me tell you why traveling is so much more than just that.

 

We go to school for an education, but learning can and does happen anywhere to everywhere. Life skills are just as important, if not, more important than hitting the books and being an expert in a field. For me, I learn by experiences and people. Those are the lessons that stick with me… Unfortunately, this doesn’t help me with my studies in Pharmacy School but I make up for it with my travels.

 

You see, going away to college was a wake up call, but going away to Spain at the age of 18 for three months changed my world.  Not only did I soak up the rays in Barcelona, party it up in the largest clubs, and eat like a princess, but I also grew 10 fold, or at least it feels like it.

I went abroad as an au pair. You’re probably thinking what even is that… If you take it back to Gossip Girl, Chuck Bass used to have au pairs. Maybe, that isn’t a good example. I was not a nanny for a Spanish Chuck Bass, I was a nanny for three adorable children (6, 5, and 2 years old) from a middle class family that weren’t hospitable whatsoever.

 

So what did I learn?

 

1.     My Spanish is so on point- okay, not really but those 7 years of Spanish from middle and high school I actually retained.

2.     How to take care of 3 children with a language barrier and cultural differences. Basically, I'm wifey material now(jk!)

3.     I now know a thing or two about Spain… Before I went, I thought Spanish people looked like people from Latin America and ate spicy foods like the Mexicans.

4.     I learned about Spanish cuisine and my love for Paella. I expanded my palette and now am willing to try anything.

5.     I learned how to maneuver in a city ( taking public transport, directions, ordering food) where I don’t speak the language across the world on a different continent.

6.     I learned to trust my instincts. I lived with strangers, made friends with strangers, went on weekend trips with strangers, etc.

7.     How to budget. I budget the hell out of everything. I worked a few part-time jobs on and off throughout my first year of college, I think I went to Spain with 3 grand. Note: I actually consider this trip a splurge compared to my later travels… More on that soon!

8.     I gave up materialistic items for experiences, which was a breakthrough moment for me.  Growing up, I went to a pretty nice high school where people came from money and always had the latest, shiny iPhone or the newest Michael Kors tote which lead me into my fashion and expensive taste. When I travel, I need nothing but myself. My love for travel conquers all.

9.      Less is more. I realized I didn’t need to have my beautiful clothes with me or to wear makeup. I spent the majority of my time makeup free and my hair was left natural, in that time I rocked an afro in 100 degree weather and came home with healthier hair.

10. YOLO. My anxiety and uptight attitude fell and left me to follow this one silly motto- you only live once.

 

Three months later, I came back to luxury at home and was already ready to fulfill my new wanderlust. Stay tuned for next weeks post about my other travels!

Nabila Ismail is a first year Pharmacy Student at the University at Buffalo in New York from Saratoga, NY. Outside of her science pursuits, she enjoys fashion, writing, and traveling. She just came back from spending a whole summer in Italy as a nanny & English Tutor. She's very excited to have Her Campus at her school this year!
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