A Note From...

Escaping Abroad

3 weeks ago by

Escaping Abroad

I am lazy, like really lazy.

Give me the option between going out with friends or rewatching ‘Friends’ on Netflix, and I will choose hanging out with my laptop for repeat viewings of “The One With The Embryos” (if you know, you know).

So when I was looking ahead to a semester abroad, it wasn’t obvious to me why I would want to pack up all my stuff, leave my friends, family, and beloved NYC. FOMO aside, it seemed like a big effort and a big step outside my comfort zone.

As I debated whether or not I should go to London, I began to reevaluate what was really holding me back. Had I become too comfortable in my daily routine? Was I purposefully avoiding social interactions? Why did I feel it was too much effort to do new things and meet new people? Was it because it was too awkward and risky? Maybe being lazy is how I keep myself safe. Let’s be honest, Re-watching ‘Dirty Dancing’ is the only true guarantee of comfort, am I right?

So I finally decided to embark upon the ultimate escape and packed one (very large) bag, sublet my half a room, and moved to London. Settling in to London, I fully expected a temporary experience, but was also cautiously aware of the effect that 5 months abroad could have on me. As I was forced into a completely new situation and met new people from all over the world, I surprised myself with how comfortable I was at making conversation. And, how easily I could connect to people, and genuinely enjoy their company, if I didn’t focus on the awkward introductions.

Turns out, I was making things much harder for myself by anxiously awaiting the worst, rather than expecting the best. Escaping my everyday routine made me more aware of how much I needed to connect to people, and I got even better at identifying the types of people I really click with. And, putting myself out there, making plans to go out, and travelling around the world with people made me more comfortable with myself.

When I get home to New York, I am of course excited to reconnect with my friends, but I will also be open to new friendships. I will bring back with me the excitement of meeting new people and discovering new places. I will really take advantage of living in New York City, and soak up everything it has to offer as if it were just a temporary stay. From now on, a few lazy Netflix afternoons will help me recharge instead of retreat.

Escaping to a new country has been the step back I needed to get some perspective and set new goals. In a new environment, I was able to see how capable I am and how strong I am. It has been a reinvention of sorts, and a time to redefine myself.

Written by Nina Sivan

2 comments

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  • Marla from Toronto March, 26 2019, 5:33 / Reply

    Beautiful message. I think we assume that when we go outside our comfort zone it’s going to expose our weaknesses but instead the opposite happens…We are able to see that connections are made that strengthen our sense of self! What you said..lol

  • Naydeline March, 26 2019, 7:08 / Reply

    I love this story, and the message it holds. I completely agree that when you escape your comfort zone and open yourself up to new experiences, you are able to make great connections with people who otherwise would’ve been strangers. I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t escape my NYC bubble for two years, and ventured out of state to a new environment. But also, London! I want to escape to London so bad, one day.

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