The first two weeks of my gap year have been the two longest weeks of my life.
It seems impossible that only 14 days ago I boarded a plane headed for an entirely different continent.
Within these two weeks I have experienced a multitude of different cities. Starting in London, I have travelled to Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona. Already, I feel more comfortable being in these massive places.
Before this trip I had never used a metro line, but now I feel as if I could use them with ease, even when it’s another language.
Of course, traveling within a cohort can make learning and experiencing another country or place easier. Perhaps one of the most amazing things I have experienced so far has been the friendships created within my cohort. Two weeks ago we were complete strangers, but now, only 14 days having travelled together, we are close friends. As we start to separate, knowing that we won’t be together for months, it’s almost hard to say goodbye.
However, for as many benefits there are to traveling within my cohort, there have been just as many negatives. Sometimes people can become distractions to my own travels and can stop me from focusing on my own year. It’s easy to get caught up in this, so when I notice myself focusing too much on people I separate for a little in order to realize what I really want from traveling.
With that said, traveling with my new friends has given me some of the best experiences of my life. Moving forward, I will be staying in Barcelona within a host family, starting tomorrow. I will be attending a school and studying Spanish. This new chapter of my gap year is intimidating. However, I will continue to be open to these new experiences in order to get as much as I can from this year.