By Mary Grace Shelly
The routines we follow in our everyday lives have a silent way of becoming comfortably concrete. We get too busy, too tired, or too distracted to place importance on the little things in life that keep our minds awake and our souls inspired. I found myself feeling this way during my junior year of college, and spending a semester traveling Europe changed my life more than I could possibly have imagined. The possibilities endless, but here are just a few of the ways that traveling Europe opens your eyes to the world around you.
"It is a humbling experience to connect with people who live in places and cultures that seem so far outside the realm of your personal world."
There is something special about the people you meet when you travel. It is a humbling experience to connect with people who live in places and cultures that seem so far outside the realm of your personal world. I conversed with people with whom I shared no common language, and I observed people whose normal lifestyle was foreign to mine in every way.
The sweet woman who sold me handmade bracelets that I brought home to my sister, the compassionate man that helped me find my way when I was lost; these people broke down the barriers between us and made me remember that even with all the bad things happening in the world, there is still overwhelming goodness in humanity.
The food in Europe is another truly integral part of the entire experience. The smells and tastes are as much a part of exploration as the sights are. Trying new flavors and cuisine from places all over the world makes the experience of travel so authentic and enriching. Simply put, good food is just good for the soul.
"Not only observing, but living the lifestyles and traditions of other people is so important, both for learning about the world and learning about yourself."
Immersing yourself in different cultures is the most important part of having an authentic and eye opening experience abroad. Luckily, meeting people and trying new things (like amazing food), are two really great ways to do this.
Not only observing, but living the lifestyles and traditions of other people is so important, both for learning about the world and learning about yourself. It brings new perspectives and broadened understandings, and it helps you reflect on your own life to make positive changes in your ideas, your lifestyle, and your happiness.
Traveling starts out as an exploration of what is outside your comfort zone. It is getting on a plane, going to a new place, trying new things, learning new languages, and seeing new sights.
"But somewhere along the way, when our eyes are opened to the beauty in the world, travel becomes a journey of self-reflection, an experience that allows us to see clearly through the fog that builds up in our everyday lives and come to better understandings about who we are, what we love, and how we want to live. "
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Meet Mary Grace
Mary Grace Shelly is a Graphic Designer and Associate Brand Coordinator at Travel Italian Style. She is lucky enough to be in school studying different aspects of one of the things she loves most: creativity. Her other favorite things include, but are not limited to, her pug, Pinterest, the beach, Christmas music, and taking way too many pictures of her food.
After spending a semester studying abroad in London, and using every spare weekend to travel throughout Europe, Mary Grace’s passion for seeing the world and learning new cultures has integrated itself into her everyday life. She is so excited to be involved with a company like Travel Italian Style that gives others the chance to have a life-changing adventure just like she did.