There are several reasons that made me ponder about my year abroad more than usual; I gave advice, spoke to friends I met during that time and wallowed in memories. Every time I indulge in my adventures I become grateful – grateful to myself, that I dared this experience.
The idea of the Grand Tour is actually quite old; it all began in the middle of the 17th century in England. Wealthy young men (and occasionally young women, too) were sent out to explore Europe and to finish their education through the impact of foreign cultures and histories. They were supposed to admire the great artists, have adventures, eat, drink,… in a nutshell, they were supposed to enjoy life to the fullest and to whoop it up seriously.
In my opinion, everyone, who feels the slightest tingle of wanderlust in him- or herself, should go on their very own Grand Tour. Just like in the old days, money is an issue; for instance I became an Au Pair simply because it was the most affordable way, but I also spent all my savings. I didn’t care, because I already knew back then, that I would become a student and it didn’t matter whether I’d be broke a year earlier or later. It was worth every single penny. If you don’t have the money then split up your tour. Who says you can’t have a Grand Tour spread over several years, exploring the world piece by piece and place by place? Get yourself a world map and mark everything you can reach and what you find interesting.
A stay or tour abroad is luxury, yes. But it is also an experience that nothing else can provide you with, because you will get to know yourself in a whole new way. Even if you quit after a few weeks because you can’t stand it any longer, you will have made wonderful experiences. You learn what you can endure and what not. Going abroad, even if just for a limited period of time, is an extreme experience that may push you to your limits at times and which will make you see what you are made of. You are still not convinced? Well, there is nothing to it if it won’t work out. What’s the deal if you are back earlier than planned? Then you’ll just start working or jobbing, studying or whatever it is you had on your mind a little bit earlier.
The most important thing is to have a dream; spending a year in America, sailing the world, a pilgrimmage down Camino de Santiago or hiking the Great Wall in China – if you know what you want then you can work for it.