I’ve been a lot of places around the world, only a fraction of the places I want to go. And spent only a fraction of the time abroad that I will spend abroad.
This next semester in Malaysia will be the longest I’ve been abroad. I am also going alone.
There is something I’ve decided is one of the best products of living abroad at that is: you become best friends with yourself. Of course, this is bred of necessity, because all you have is yourself. No one knows you. You can represent yourself exactly the way you want to. It’s almost like there is no past, and because you don’t know necessarily what the future will hold, it’s life being forced to live in the present. And live with yourself.
Being abroad tests your mind and your soul. It takes courage. You feel the stupidest you will ever feel and the smartest. You feel worldly and hopelessly sheltered. You learn who you are and what you want. You learn to love yourself.
I think everyone needs this experience. The longer you spend abroad, the better friends you become with yourself. This is why I’m always saying “go abroad”. Do a semester. The excuses are always “I don’t have time”. Why don’t you have time for you? People look down on people who are selfish, but sometimes I think. Just do it. Do it for you. It’s a nobel reason to go. Become the person you want to be. Your job may come and go. Your friends may come and go. Your family may come and go. But you will always have yourself. So you might as well be friends with you.
So I dare you to think about yourself for a bit. I dare you to become best friends with yourself. I dare you.