During these past few months of being abroad I have learned that the smallest things in life become the best memories. I have reflected these past few days while having a relaxing long weekend due to the All Saints holiday and in between my trip to Monte Carlo and the Italian Riviera.
There are moments I have had so far that I will never again experience in my life. Just because the chances of me going to Paris again in my early 20’s are very slim. I will never be able to relive our late night picnic behind the sparkling Eiffel Tower with our huge tour group laughing and having a great time. There is a chance I will never witness another Barcelona sunset on top of the mountain. I have truly cherished these moments. Standing in front of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers a painting a have grown up seeing was a truly humbling experience, it was an “I am actually here” moment in Amsterdam. I might never again sit on the beach on the coast of Italy on the perfect summer afternoon again. I am taking these small moments and making every minute of it because again I do not know what the future holds for me.
I have found that those moments do not even have to be as monumental as those above. This past weekend, Yasmeen and I ventured on a trip to Monaco It was cold and rainy, and we were in desperate need of coffee. We found a Starbucks right next to the water, with our holiday drinks, and Christmas music playing. We sat for two hours singing Christmas songs, with our Christmas cups laughing that we were doing this right next to the Mediterranean Sea.
Simple moments like walking to get gelato at 10 PM after we are all in bed. Eventually putting real clothes on again and venturing down the block and sitting next to the carousel eating ice cream. These moments are what have shaped my study abroad experience. They are truly what have made my experience unique and meaningful. They are also the little moments that I could possibly forget as I get older. I try to record simple moments like these in my scrapbook/journal just as a reminder.
This goes for everyone currently studying abroad, getting ready to study abroad, or just enjoying their time in college. I cannot stress to you enough how important a scrapbook or journal is. I got out of the habit for a few weeks and have gotten back into it and I love it. It is a free souvenir that can hold the most meaning for you upon your return. It is something you can go look at when your kids ask you questions about your time abroad. You will always be able to remember what you did in Barcelona or the coffee you drank every morning.
I have also found that this blog has been a great way for me to document my time and to go deeper into my thoughts that I have had throughout the week. I was hoping to keep up with my own personal blog during my time here but time has just gotten away from me and that has not yet been updated so I am very happy for MUsings of the Traveling Saints.