I know this is really strange, but over the past month since I've been in Paris I think I've been 'bitten by the travel bug' as they say. This phrase is actually really obnoxious to me because when I heard people say it I always assumed that everybody wanted to travel, so there is no such thing as a 'travel bug,' but rather human nature. Over this month I've come to realize that this could not be further from the truth. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think I've learned a few pretty important life lessons since I've been here, about myself, growing up, how things work, etc. With that being said...
Things I've learned while in Paris:
1. I am really hard headed. I like to do things the way I want them, and I find it really hard to see someone else's point of view when I am so sure I'm right. This is actually a huge character flaw and also one of the loudest parts of my character at the same time - yikes. Over the last few weeks I've tried really hard to subdue the urge to order anybody around or insist that things be done my way, and even when I get really frustrated because I think that I have the right answer or the better solution, I've found that things typically tend to work out regardless of if I get my way or not. This has been really good growth for me personally mostly because it's allowed me to realize how obnoxious that tendency is, and also I've become better at realizing when I am doing it and stopping myself before I come off as a total and complete a-hole.
2. I'm judgmental - I kind of already knew this though. For example: there's a few girls in my study abroad group here who are in sororities, and when I heard that I was immediately turned off to getting to know them. WTF? Turns out one of them became one of my closest friends on the trip, and is totally bad ass. Why would I be so quick to judge people when I honestly know nothing about them? So realizing that has also made me re-asses the relationships I have at home, or had at one point, or was attempting to have, and what my purpose is for associating or not associating with these people. PS: just for the record, one of my first impressions was actually 100% correct, chick was a total beeyotch.
3. I really love seeing new things! Travel is just sort of one of those things that has always attracted me, whether it be a short road trip to somewhere in Oregon or a 13 hour plane flight to the other side of the world - count me in! I like to experience new things and meet new people and make memories and learn about different cultures and try new foods and do things I wouldn't do in my day-to-day life. I actually already started a bucket list of places I want to go before I'm old and crippled and have grandchildren, and it goes like this...:
- Australia/New Zealand (literally any and all of these places)
- Ireland (namely Cork & Galway)
- Spain (namely Madrid, Barcelona & Catalonia)
- South America (namely Brazil - especially Rio & Bogota, Colombia)
- The islands of Corsica & Sardinia
- Egypt (Cairo, derrr)
- India (wherever, haven't really considered it much yet)
- Alaska (yeah yeah, I know, hence the reason it's low on my list)
I figure I've got a little while (at least til 2012) to fulfill this list, and if I win the lottery in the next five years my chances of completing it are really, really good.
Photo cred: Cara Freeman :)