In the midst of finishing a wine bottle and half of the movie, “Eat Pray Love,” I reflected on my study abroad experience in Europe. Traveling across from the western most point of Europe in Lisbon, Portugal to eastern parts like Budapest and Prague, I have learnt to live life and understand the true meaning of happiness. I have grasped cultures and taught myself to live under certain circumstances, and these life skills, no university can teach me. Most of these life skills lie as potential energy in my body, beneath multiple layers of identities and travel has opened up some of these tulip buds into magnificent flowers.
My happiness matters to me. Travel has made me realize the importance of trusting myself, believing in my self and making decisions for my own happiness. When I traveled to Barcelona and Madrid on my first ever completely solo trip, I spent time doing the things I love and the activities that brought me happiness. Between the two exotic Spanish cities, I saw 25 art museums and expanded my artistic knowledge about some of my favorite artists including Picasso, Miro and Dali, but not limited to these maestros. I saw my favorite footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, score 5 goals in one match, the highest he has ever scored. I did things I wanted to do. I realized that the most important person in my life is me.
People around me matter to me. Travel has made me see how crucial the people around me are and how strong their happiness is to make me happy; talking to people across the various countries I have visited, speaking to the Maastricht University students and making new friends and forming bonds that last longer than one semester. Earlier, I would be ignorant to helping someone even for a small task, but travel has made me accept that the happiness of others makes me happy. Such a beautiful world.
The world matters to me.