Traveling, in Retrospect

By Rosamond Hoyle

I would be lying if I did not say I was scared for the majority of this trip. I was scared when I got on the plane in Kansas City, I was scared when I got separated from the group on the Paris Metro, I was scared when I arrived in Annecy and my host family swept me off to a party and vigorously interrogated me about my life in French. This fear led me again and again to question if I was doing the right thing. Why had I spent all this money to go on a trip that put me in positions in which I was uncomfortable, nervous, and home-sick?

The answer came to me after the university-led part of the trip. Some of the other students and I returned to Paris for a few days and then I went to London for a few more days before returning home. Throughout all that time of being nervous I had never realized that I was actually gaining a ton of confidence and understanding. Suddenly (or so it felt), when I was back in Paris I had no fear of navigating the Metro, I could confidently walk into a restaurant and order and pay for a meal, I could strike up a conversation with a stranger in another language!

I am so thankful for the chance to study abroad because it gave me the opportunity to become a world traveler while having the safety of an experienced (and totally awesome) teacher that helped me learn so much and eventually gain the confidence to go off on my own. Now I know that I have the confidence and ability to travel on my own, problem-solve new public transportation systems, talk to strangers, and most importantly experience different cultures without fear.

Comments

  1. Julie Glenn says:

    Yes, I saw your confidence build through the entire study abroad!! I look up to you soo much and shared some of these same feelings. By the end, I feel our group made huge gains in becoming so confident!! A group of strong, beautiful, independent women from Missouri University of Science and Technology!!