1. Find your place—a place that allows your mind to become completely in tune to the present moment. Wherever that place is, do me a favor and close your eyes—just listen to your senses. What does the city feel like? I discovered a priceless view of Perugia one afternoon by chance, and I love how peaceful I feel every time I visit. The way the wind tousles my hair as I stand in awe of the beauty of the city, the light chattering in Italian I hear off in the distance—it’s my time to feel smitten by Perugia.
2. Always remind yourself that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. I think about the times I spent daydreaming in my Linguistics class about traveling; to finally have the chance to be curious, and to learn from the people and culture surrounding me feels refreshing.
3. Listen to your intuition. Explore with fresh eyes, and be in touch with your surroundings.
4. There is something to cherish from the relationships you create as you travel. That heart-pumping momentum I felt as I left for Budapest on a whim, with friends I hardly knew, is what I’ll remember years from now. There’s really nothing like discovering a new place with new friends.
5. Leave your expectations behind. You create the life you want. Spark up a conversation with a local at your favorite café, or try something you never thought you’d do. This is what makes your experiences abroad unique. I’ve come to appreciate the times I’ve felt challenged learning a new language, as well as the times I’ve felt carefree, laughing uncontrollably singing karaoke.