When you’re standing in the airport, passport in-hand, and ready to embark on a journey abroad, under all the excitement and anticipation are often nerves.
It’s little stressful for just about anyone to take off to a new place and be away from all that’s familiar, but this is especially true for women. But walk right into that discomfort, because there’s a whole new world on the other side.
These are my three reasons why traveling abroad empowers women:
1. There’s Time for Solace
At home, it’s so easy to get roped into a daily routine. Whether you’re working, going to school, or both, it’s hard to juggle all of those commitments, let alone find time for yourself.
I think especially as women, we not only get swept up in our daily routines, but often we try to take care of friends and loved ones around us. And in doing so, we can lose sight of ourselves.
Aside from having time to experience a new culture and discover a new place, one of the beautiful things about going abroad is you have ample moments to sit back and watch the world go by.
When I had the opportunity to study in Pau, France, one of my favorite things to do was grab my music and take a run down by one of the major rivers in the city. Not only did it help me feel like more of a local, but when I would finish my miles, I would pause my music, close my eyes, and listen to the water rumble.
Having moments for myself were not only enriching, but when I got home I made a point to take that time for me.
2. Strengthen Your Self-Confidence
I think when women talk about wanting to travel or study abroad, it can often be met with others’ anxiety and nerves. In this person’s mind they are only looking out for your personal safety. But while they have no ill-intent, hearing their fears over and over can be discouraging.
I was nervous when I left for Pau. I barely spoke any French, I had never been away from home for that long, and I had never travelled alone. However, I found that not only was I surrounded by others who were excited to see the world, but many of them like myself were nervous.
With each coffee order, bus ride, and weekend trip, I started to show myself that I could do it. I began to realize that I came to a new country, I was learning a new language, and I was planning and executing successful trips for myself, even though I was away from all that was familiar.
I am certainly not advocating throwing caution to the wind - one should always be aware of their surroundings whether abroad or home - but the trips I was able to take with my female friends were among the best. Helping each other through inevitable mishaps because things didn’t go as planned not only helped us learn we could rely on each other, but ultimately that we could rely on ourselves.
Whether you take a short trip abroad or study abroad, you see that these experiences bring curious and adventurous individuals together which not only makes for great memories but life-long friends
3. You Face and Conquer Challenges Along the Way
Even the best laid plans are going to change. It’s going to rain when it was supposed to be sunny. The bus is going to arrive late. The museum you wanted to go to has a four-hour wait. Unforeseen mishaps are going to happen. And that’s okay.
Travel is going to teach you to roll with what’s happening even when you’re out of your element.
Ultimately, whether you were finally able to order your coffee correctly or come up with a new plan on the fly after a booking cancellation, you’ll prove to yourself time and time again that you can do whatever life throws at you. And that’s something you’ll always carry with you.
There’s endless amounts of opportunities to explore and there’s no better time than now. My travels and long-term study abroad experience have not only allowed me to discover other countries and cultures, but have taught me about myself and ultimately made me a better, more confident woman at home and abroad.
Ready to take that next step? Start planning your trip with EdOdyssey today!