The way I feel about the days I spent studying abroad is pretty identical to the way Bryan Adams feels about the summer of ‘69.
They were, undoubtedly, the best days of my life.
When I decided to go abroad for a year, I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into. The only thing I knew for sure was that this experience was likely to have a serious impact on me and would probably be an insanely cool adventure.
Call it a lucky guess, but I was totally right.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say that my time abroad was the coolest part of my life. Truthfully, I just don’t see how it can ever be topped.
If you’re lucky enough to have studied abroad or spent an extended time overseas, then you know what I mean. It’s like I was living in a totally different world once I landed on the other side of the ocean. Everything was new — the country, the culture, the independence. I met people I otherwise would’ve never encountered. I tried foods I’d never heard of. I walked through museums, cafés, restaurants, and shops that I didn’t even know existed. The mundane suddenly became completely captivating simply because it was all brand spankin’ new.
From the minute I touched down in Europe to the second I landed back in the States, I was on an adventure. I found myself in a constant state of discovery, and the excitement of it all never really wore off. In the scheme of my life, it was an unparalleled feeling.
Studying abroad allowed me to experience so many unreal opportunities, all at once. I was making important decisions for myself. I was fulfilling dreams I didn’t even know I had. I was, quite literally, seeing the world. Even when things weren’t ideal, they were better than the norm — the mishaps eventually became highlights. There isn’t a single second of my time abroad that I wish I could rewrite.
It was my peak. And I’m totally cool with that.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not in a cynical, it’s-all-downhill-from-here mind frame. I know I have so many wonderful adventures that are still ahead of me. But being young and spontaneous while living in Europe for a whole year is something I can never re-do. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and that’s exactly what makes it so incredible.
So although I’m back stateside, I still have an unending appreciation for the time I spent living in Europe. As far as I’m concerned, the days I spent studying abroad will remain some of the most golden days in my entire life. And because those days were nothing short of stellar, I can’t even be bitter that they’re behind me.