Do you really need to get lost in order to find yourself? What does this really mean?
When I’m on my vacation will I magically have an epiphany of everything I am and want to be? Will I be on the beach while studying abroad and suddenly know that I want to study marine biology for the rest of my life?
The whole idea that you have to go to a new place in order to figure out everything about yourself seems a little cliché.
The Truth About Travel
As someone who is beginning my sixth week in a foreign country, I’m here to tell you that this trip has made me more unsure of myself than ever before, and I’m okay with that.
Though my trip is long from over, and it’s possible that I’ll have a lot more clarity at the end, I can honestly say I was a much more confident person before I left for Costa Rica. I was able to navigate my hometown with ease and confidence. I had a solid group of friends and a routine, and I was sure of myself and what I wanted. I was comfortable. I was comfortable within my school and sorority, I knew how to do my dead end job, and I was constantly surrounded by people I knew well.
The entire of idea of studying abroad and going to a place you don’t know is to experience something new and different, so of course you’re going to become unsure of yourself and your surroundings. Though I haven’t necessarily “found myself” I have learned a lot about myself and how I handle difficult situations.
I have learned that I don’t like to be alone, and that I’m much more extroverted than I thought I was. I’ve learned that I am goal and intrinsically driven to a point where it almost becomes an obsession. I have learned that I don’t like when people are late and that I can be impatient. I have learned that I’m a leader and don’t like to follow the crowd. I have learned that I’m still a work in progress like we all are.
It’s not about finding yourself, it’s about finding more pieces to the puzzle that makes up who you are.
One More Piece to the Puzzle
If we never push ourselves outside of our boxes, we never grow, we never change, we never have to adapt. Being comfortable is OK, and there are times being comfortable and content with life will be your goal.
However, without experiencing discomfort, we can never grow and change.
Personally, I still have a compass in my hand (I need it or I’ll get lost). I haven’t reached a point where I’m done trying to figure out the world and myself. Sure I might be a little lost now, and I’m not entirely sure that this trip will give me an epiphany about everything that I am. However, I am sure that this trip will allow me to find more pieces to my puzzle.
Research has shown that students do better in school and in choosing a future career when they have a better understanding of themselves. Want to get started?
Taylor Hunter has been updating us with her experience studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester. Read the rest of the articles in the series: