Posts Tagged ‘Lifestyle’

What is Wanderlust and How Can I Cure It?

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

When you think of the word “travel,” most people think of going to a faraway place by catching a bus, train, plane, or driving for hours outside of town. They are overwhelmed by the thought of saving money, clipping coupons, and living off of ramen just to see a new concrete jungle. However, once they come back, they are suddenly overcome by the “travel bug,” otherwise known as wanderlust. But can wanderlust only be fulfilled by going away? Is there a way to satisfy this craving for adventure without leaving the confines of your own town? I would argue that you can.

The definition of wanderlust by the Merriam-Wester Dictionary site is a “strong longing for or impulse toward wandering.” What this definition doesn’t capture is paired illusion of feeling stuck where you are, both in your location and in your routine.

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

https://burst.shopify.com/photos/city-woman-exercising-outdoors

When I came back home from studying abroad in South Korea for a semester, I almost immediately felt trapped. Suddenly access transportation was slow, I couldn’t make it to the other side of the country without a lot of money or even more time, and the burden of a new, rigorous quarter at school made it impossible for me to mimic the freedom I had almost 7,000 miles away from home. “Wanderlust” had become a prison that no one warned me about in the pre-departure presentation months before.

One thing I’ve learned in my time in college is when life gives you lemons, you don’t just make lemonade; you make lemon tarts.

There are three options you have when it comes to handling wanderlust. One is simply ignoring it, which is kind of like eating the lemons. The second, the lemonade, is taking a vacation during a break and exploring as much as possible. My favorite option is the third: adopting the explorer’s mindset, and turning everyday life into an adventure. Lemon. Tarts.

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

https://flic.kr/p/cwd1Q9

What do people do when they travel? It’s not all about the Statue of Liberty, the Space Needle, the Reading Terminal Market, or Time Square. People look for new experiences that they don’t normally have in their day-to-day routine. By acquiring the explorer’s mindset, that there is an adventure hiding everywhere, you can work on your wanderlust every day. Take a new route to class, check out new restaurants, or go on a date in a new neighborhood. You don’t have to become a tourist to shake up the monotony.

Humans are resistant to change, and I’m completely guilty of this. My first few months home were just me stuck in my old routine before traveling to Korea. But one day I decided to visit a friend in a neighborhood I had never been to. Then I went to another part of the city for happy hour with my best friend from middle school. And yes, I did make a couple of bus trips to nearby cities during long weekends over the summer. As time went on, I found that the bugging wanderlust that had cornered me was getting what it wanted.

I’m not saying that you don’t need a big trip to Europe or a backpacking road trip across Southeast Asia. At some point, you will want more than whatever you’re doing. If watching videos on YouTube is like a bandage, scaling your hometown is a painkiller, then that big trip abroad is the trip to the doctor’s office.

I hate to say this, but wanderlust is completely incurable. In my travels, I’ve met people who have explored the world and still feel that pang to keep moving. The best strategy to keep wanderlust at bay is to constantly challenge yourself to see new places, experience new things, and maintain your thirst for knowledge. And maybe bake a tray of lemon tarts.

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By Jada Gossett

Jada is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is majoring in Psychology and working on a Certificate in Creative Writing and Publishing at Drexel University. After traveling to South Korea for study abroad in the Fall of 2016, she has undertaken a new side venture as a lifestyle blogger determined to get college students to get out of their comfort zone. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter or Instagram. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings.

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Pushing Boundaries: How Traveling and Studying Abroad Have Changed My Life and Shaped My Career Path, and Why You Should Do It Too

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

At only 21 years old, I am no Confucius. I cannot give you sound and scientific advice that, if followed, will give you guaranteed success and happiness and all the things you’ve ever dreamed possible. I do not know everything; I don’t have all the answers. What I DO have is my own experience. One of my favorite lines from a book came from Arthur Japin’s In Lucia’s Eyes that reads, “The world is full of people who spend their entire lives seeking the miracle of love without ever seeing it. It’s actually very simple and self-evident, except to those who seek it. One need only have a different way of seeing things. That is not something you can teach people. All you can do is tell your story.”

Whether or not you’re looking for love, let that last sentence resonate with you. All you can do is tell your story. This is my story.

Me:

My mother was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when she found her future husband who worked in San Francisco at the time. This man, my father, lived in the U.S. for several years already, but actually grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Call them star-crossed lovers or whatever you wish, these two foreigners set out to make a new future in a new country for their new daughter, me!

 

Growing up, it was just my parents and me. No siblings, no relatives nearby, no pets other than the occasional goldfish won at a carnival with a lifespan average of two days.  I spent most of my breaks from school traveling, either to Costa Rica or Brazil, to see family and connect with cousins and friends my age, keeping up with both Portuguese and Spanish.

The language was never a barrier to me when I was in another country, but became an issue when I returned to the U.S. and had already started school. I would meet with friends and sometimes be unable to realize that I wasn’t speaking English with them because I was so used to being understood in another language.

In addition to traveling to see relatives, I was fortunate enough to have such hard-working parents who always wanted me to see the world, as was their goal for themselves.  We travelled to many places in Europe before I finished the 8th grade, even at which point it was very clear to me that studying abroad would be in my future, no question.

Before starting high school I KNEW I would be gone for sophomore year – I researched study abroad programs and took advantage of them.  Initially I wanted to go to countries like Italy or Spain, but I wound up finding a full-ride scholarship opportunity (sponsored by U.S. Congress and German Parliament) to study in Germany, so I applied. As I moved further through the selection process, it became surreal how competitive this was: out of 2500 applicants, only 50 would receive scholarships.

In April 2006, I learned I had received the scholarship. I turned 15 the next month and three months later was off to live in Germany for a year: no family, no friends, and didn’t  know a word of German. I was the youngest of all the recipients, and after 11 months I was fluent in German.

Before beginning my time at a University, it was clear to me I would study abroad again. I would have applied for the program right away if it weren’t for the window allowed for it by the study abroad office. I was the first to submit an application for that as well, and in the fall of 2010, I had one of the BEST semesters of my life in Bern, Switzerland. If I hadn’t graduated early, I would have studied abroad again.

I’ve now relocated from Arizona to New York and am pursuing a career here while considering my options for a Master’s abroad – perhaps Switzerland again.  I’ve even recently been asked to work with a European magazine for some press releases. My passion is traveling and connecting with people who have experienced this and exchanging cultures.  All the traveling and studying abroad I’ve done have brought me here and told me where I’m going.  You CAN and SHOULD do it too, and even if traveling isn’t something you want for your career, experiencing it now while you’re young is priceless and will teach you so much about yourself and the world.

 

Where to look for study abroad programs:

  1. Consult with your school’s study abroad offices: I realize these offices are becoming smaller and smaller in the U.S., but these guys know what they’re talking about. Ask which kinds of programs are available to you – some may have year standing or GPA requirements. Maybe there’s a specific kind of program you’re searching for – my school offered programs in which you travel with a group of students from the University while learning abroad. My school also offered a program where you didn’t pay a study abroad fee, just the same tuition you were paying while attending the school, which is how I was able to study abroad. Many study abroad offices even have information on scholarships. There are plenty of options; inform yourself!
  2. Check other programs: This gets tricky and is where fees come into play, sky-rocketing the price of your study abroad experience. My scholarship study abroad program was limited to high school students, but there are other groups out there! Check out: ciee.org or studyabroad.com.
  3. Maybe you’re interested in the experience of it but don’t want to be studying: Check out things like aupair-world.net where you can be a live-in nanny, earn some money, have a host family that could help teach you more about the culture, and be immersed in your new surroundings. You could take a semester off to do it, do it in the summer, or make time for it after you graduate. Another post-graduate option could be The Peace Corps.
  4. Degrees and Internships Abroad: These are other ways you can be productive in a new place. You can research schools in the areas you’re most interested in and see their guidelines for international students. My advice for those looking to study in Europe would be to check out bachelorsportal.eu OR mastersportal.eu where you can define your search based on degree subject, country, or tuition and GET THIS: tuition prices elsewhere could be as little as 4% what you’re paying now. What about textbook fees? That’s all an American scam so you can say “bye-bye” to that! As for internships, try goabroad.com/intern-abroad or ask at your school’s study abroad office.  HEADS UP: this internship opportunity in China was just tweeted via @InternQueen that may be worthwhile: http://www.crccasia.com/?utm_source=InternQueen&utm_medium=Eblast&utm_campaign=October

5. If all else fails and you just want to travel abroad but want to do it sooner rather than later (excellent choice), check out statravel.com for good deals on flights and hotel information – those prices keep going up these days so it’s good to know of a place that’s dedicated to finding competitive rates. I’d also recommend kayak.com, which is where I found an affordable flight to NYC.

Why:

Even if traveling doesn’t give you insatiable wanderlust as it has to me, at the very least you’ll         broaden your horizons, learn something new and take these experiences with you in your next job interview, which could make all the difference. I encourage you to try something new, to not be afraid, and to learn a new language – there’s no better way than immersion! At the risk of sounding cliché, the world is truly your oyster so go out and open it!

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Lauren A Ramires. Follow her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (username: laurenaramires) for more lifestyle and inspiration posts.

If you’re interested in learning more of the experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer, check out this blog for stories on the daily happenings of a PCV and things you could expect.

 

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