Travel by Stefanie Elling

Out of 18 weekends in Lille, I traveled during 16 of them. Looking back, this was a bit crazy while dealing with 13 classes. On top of that, I traveled by myself most of the time, meeting up with relatives or other friends in other cities. And, what was even more insane, is that the majority of my flights or trains or buses required me to leave my apartment at 2 o’clock in the morning. However, travelling this much on my own has taught me lessons that will stay with me throughout the rest of my life. Today I can say that I no longer over pack and that I am insanely quick through airport security. In addition, out of the 17 cities I visited, I have to say that I enjoyed Amsterdam and Munich the best. Coincidentally, those cities are the ones I spent the most time in and was with friends and family in both. At the same time, I visited Milan and Venice alone and was able to have a wonderful experience. Despite the awkwardness, I have decided that I enjoy travelling alone and I think that everyone should do it at least once. Personally, it let me get lost in the history and the culture of the cities and allowed me to really be present. And my least favorite city would have had to be Brussels, but mainly due to the fact that my sister’s entire backpack got stolen which had her passport, wallet, and some other sentimental items. For those interested in going abroad, my biggest piece of advice is to not travel every weekend. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved every trip I went on; however, travelling prevented me from building relationships with people in the city I was living. Also, I wasn’t able to really get to know my city the way that I had originally intended to. Likewise, leaving Lille every weekend hurt my progress in French as well. So, even though you may feel this pressure to travel all the time while abroad, I recommend staying in one place for a while

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