5 Things Learned While in Wales

Guest Writer: Elizabeth Robinson

In a switch from the familiar to the unknown, you’re habits, beliefs, quirks and even dreams are bound to change a little. During this process you combat periods of doubt, despair and confusion. But through it, you’re acquainted with lessons in growth. At least… that’s my experience. For the two months I’ve been living here in Carmarthen, Wales I’ve learned a few things along the way. And so I introduce to you; 5 things learned while in Wales.

Self-Discovery

Who am I apart from my community of friends? Who am I, just me, alone in a new country? That is the great mystery of this semester. One that is being unraveled with each day. Turns out I’m full of surprises. Taking such a giant leap and studying abroad alone has nudged me right on out of my comfort zone. With each new situation I step into, I learn what irks my nerves, what makes me happy, and what qualities I long for in adventures. Everyday my dependence on Jesus deepens and my knowledge of who He’s made me to be amplifies.

Value of Time Time moves slowly in this little town of Carmarthen. Not at all like the hustle and bustle of students’ lives at UNC Greensboro. With such a relaxed atmosphere I’m tempted to waste away my days napping, or watching Netflix. And let me warn you, even being abroad, it is easier to slip into than you think. The best days are the ones where I strive to get myself out of bed and out of my flat and out into the open air. My mind fights back with many excuses but each battle is worth the victory. Because before I know it, I’ll be back in the States complaining that there’s not enough time for what I want to do.

Enjoy the Little Things

Contrary to what social medias taught me, not every second of life is picture perfect. Some days are pretty average (some days just suck). But what I seek is the beauty in those average days. I live among the rolling hills. Gaze upon breathtaking skies, watch as awe striking sunsets slide behind hill tops. I walk between beautiful homes radiating colors and I smile at strangers. I enjoy the texture of the leaves against my palms, and will my eyes to break through the thick fog in the morning. With each deep belly laugh that occurs with friends I soak in the delight of life itself.. I know now that a big part of life is in fact the littlest of moments. I’m not taking those for granted anymore.

Money Isn’t Everything

If there’s one thing that I’d been worrying about since long before I applied to my host school, it was the money. I’m now two months in this journey and I still catch myself being hesitant to travel places because I want to hold on to that dollar just a little while longer. But what for? I went through laborious work, paperwork and school work to get here, so I am going to get all that I can out of it. Money is only a thing to be used, not stored away. Don’t get me wrong, how you use it is important. But for the time being I have learned to use what I have and earn more money later. If there is anything that I’ve learned first-hand while being here it is that God will continuously provide.

There is More Than Just Your World Surprise, surprise. College does a good job of intertwining your small world with other peoples' small worlds. But studying abroad opens your mind up to a plethora of beliefs, mindsets, ideas, cultures, dreams, and upbringings. I mean, I knew not everyone was like me but I didn’t know not everyone was like me. Ya know what I mean? Anyhow, I have been shown and sometimes immersed in others ways of life. What a pleasure it has been to see the variety of the human race.

About two months remaining and I go on with anticipation to the things that lie ahead for me. If you so desire, you can read up on my ventures at on my blog but don’t stop there, go out and live your own adventure.

(Images are writers own photos.)