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Early in college, I knew that I wanted to try to study abroad twice. Turns out, I had enough credits to take a leave of absence from my small college after my first semester living abroad to volunteer and teach English. This was an incredible opportunity to travel the world for very little money. Through this experience, I was able to gain life skills that I needed for my career as a teacher, meet people from every walk of life, see and experience things you can only see and experience in movies, and gain independence that you just can’t gain while living in the comfort of your home country.
I graduated from college with experiences that some people don’t achieve in their lifetimes.
At 23 years old, I packed my bags and moved to Costa Rica. There I lived as an English Teacher at a private high school. I learned about the differences that come with working in another country, how people live on almost no salary, and how to enjoy the things I have when I can’t afford the luxuries I am used to at home.
There is no greater feeling than being fulfilled by your life. Travel, to me, is one of the greatest opportunities to learn about yourself and others. Traveling alone (safely) enriches your experience so much more. When you are forced to be independent, you meet people you never imagined meeting, see things you never imagined seeing, and live a life you never imagined living.
Grow, reflect, and learn
My idea of success is living life for the experiences you can gain from it. Take advantage of every second that you are on this planet. Grow, reflect, and learn from each experience that you are given.
What’s your measurement of success? How will you know if you’re successful? What types of experiences would you like to have to be considered successful? What do you want to experience in your life?
For example, I want to travel the world, see as much as I can see, and meet as many people as I can meet. I want to experience different cultures.
Look into different ways you can gain the experiences you are seeking. Would you volunteer? Work abroad? Do a cool fellowship? Take some time off work?
For example, I volunteered in order to save money on travel and to gain work experience.
Plan how to live life
Make an action plan. Create the list of things you need to do to make your success goal a reality. Plan to put yourself in a situation where there can be spontaneity. Plan to be present.
For example, I planned the 3 countries I would travel to and how I would get there. I left my weekends free to meet new people or travel last minute.
Make it happen!
Go out there and live the experiences you are looking for! Learn how to live life, and then do it! You will have no regrets if you live your life to the fullest and take in all the experiences!
About the Author
My name is Savannah and I am a recent college graduate from the United States who is now living and working in Costa Rica. I am 23 years old and have lived in 3 countries, the United States, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. I have traveled all over the world since turning 20 and have lived my life to the fullest, and it is just getting started! In my free time, I like to go to the beach, hike, dance, or take my dog for long walks. I am bilingual in English and Spanish and am learning Portuguese. I hope to get my doctorate degree in Hispanic Linguistics and become a college professor. Travel and having new experiences is a pivotal part of who I am.