A long way from home


yatianaconteh

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When you think about study abroad/away what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the freedom  away from your life back home? parents? that persistent person who keeps texting you? Is it the promise of experiencing a new culture? eating new food? becoming a mini tourist? What do you really think about?  For me as usual, the first thing that popped up in my mind was travelling. In a nonexistent list of my top five most favorite things to do, after reading, writing and eating travelling follows. I am not a tourist by heart, i do not know all the monumental and beautiful places around the world. Plus I haven’t traveled as much as i would love to. However, that doesn’t stop my passion for traveling. For some strange reason it soothes me. It gives me this rush and then calms my nerves. I remember travelling…

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A long way from home


plane-841441_640

When you think about study abroad/away what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the freedom  away from your life back home? parents? that persistent person who keeps texting you? Is it the promise of experiencing a new culture? eating new food? becoming a mini tourist? What do you really think about?  For me as usual, the first thing that popped up in my mind was travelling. In a nonexistent list of my top five most favorite things to do, after reading, writing and eating travelling follows. I am not a tourist by heart, i do not know all the monumental and beautiful places around the world. Plus I haven’t traveled as much as i would love to. However, that doesn’t stop my passion for traveling. For some strange reason it soothes me. It gives me this rush and then calms my nerves. I remember travelling incidents from when i was growing up. The quickest way to make me fall asleep is to put me in a car and drive around. Poof just like hypnosis, i would fall asleep. My mom would always warn me not to fall asleep when taking the cab home after school. Yep, that was how much i loved traveling :).

And it just isn’t only travelling by a car, i love taking the ferry, boat rides, and most of all flying. So imagine the surge of joy i got when i knew that i would be travelling by a plane thousands of miles away from home. The one thing i should have been afraid of was what i was most excited about.  When i received the call that i would be spending my junior year studying abroad, i  was all sorts of  excited, but mainly because I would be travelling fro a very long time. It felt all grown up to me, i never for once thought  about the possibility of me missing my flight, going into the wrong terminal, loosing my passport, tickets and boarding pass or worst of all, arriving at my destination and my luggage is not there. None of those things crossed my ind in the slightest. All i kept thinking about was the hours and hours of flying. Strange right? Well that’s just me.

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As usual for me, i really did not think the details through. I only consider  the end result and decide if i would love to do a particular thing or not. I mean, in some cases I can get away with it , but not this one. I really didn’t seriously consider the fact that i would be spend a whole day pretty much just sitting down in a designated space. I didn’t really think about how tired i would be, and how difficult it would be for me to sleep . I just imagined me travelling, moving seamlessly from one place to the other and nothing else. To put it shortly, after i arrived at Brussels after my eight hours flight i wasn’t in the mood to do absolutely anything. To make matters worse i was travelling alone, so i had no one to take a picture of me :). Yes, i could have gone up to someone and asked them to take my pic, but i was too tired to even do that.

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Sitting down at the airport, miles and countless miles away from home, not really hungry but my nose kept twitching at the smell of the freshly baked croissants, tired but not really wanting to sleep on the chairs because the ones inside the plane was enough, i asked myself, what is it again you loved about travelling? I couldn’t come up with an answer. Fast forward to six hours later, boarded my plane to Chicago O’Hare airport and I wondered why i doubted my love for travelling. In the end, i believe that the idea of moving from one place or situation is ideally the best thing that would happen to me, not the real process. A long way from home, blue hand luggage in hand, i stepped down the plane in Chicago ready to conquer the world. Did i though? We’ll see in the next blog post.

In the beginning…


Hey guys! Shall we start the journey? Yes? Okay 🙂 So people always tell you that if you feel overwhelmed about explaining about a past experience, story or any kind of event, start at the beginning. So that is where I will start.volkswagen-569315_640

Some twelve months back, sitting head bowed down on the wooden church pew, I was scared. I had less than a month before moving away from what I had known all my life. I had a life there, and I don’t mean just breathing. Just by me sat a wonderful friend who was totally  excited about me moving thousands of miles away from home.  Not that I  wasn’t but as the future became more present I developed cold feet. I confided to her in whispers in church that day about my biggest fear. It wasn’t about my race, my religion, my looks or even my almost always strong opinions, it was the simple fear of making friends.

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My friend however was totally convinced that it would be easy for me to make  friends, considering the fact that we are friend that she loves me.. Reassuring me with words of hope and kindness, she told me this, “Don’t worry, you will make friends. You will meet the right people for you, and they are going to love you for who you are, just be yourself”. She couldn’t have been more right.

Months later,  thought about this conversation I had with my friend and the question I asked myself was why did I think that making friends was important enough so much it scared me. I mean the promise of thrill and adventure , going to new places, trying out new food and a  different cultures  should have been more than enough for me. Plus this is the modern age, I could talk with my friends back home whenever and however I wanted. So did I think  I needed to make friends? So after a while I got the answer, and it isn’t as complicated as the question. We are human beings so therefore we need human contact to help make our experiences more real. I mean I could have gone camping, partying, watching a movie all by myself. However the most memorable moments  I treasure so  far are the ones I spent with my friends. They added a new twist, a blend to what I already new, they pushed me to try  out new things, to become myself fully, to let go of the  pain and hurt life throws  at you. In fact  they would stay up till 2 am talking with me about so many different things we would even forget  why we started the conversation in the first place. They would  tell me to my face when i was wrong not caring if I liked it or not. They would bear endless moments of me telling them what I thought was right when I was actually wrong.

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I had a wonderful studying abroad. What made it more wonderful was the people I chose to spend it with. My circle wasn’t a large one and I am glad to say we stayed friends right until the end. If I had known that I would be meeting the kind of strangers who turned acquaintance then friend then very goods friends, i would have never had the conversation I  did with my friend back home. However, i am glad i did because she  gave me confidence in who i was. She didn’t say well when you meet new people you should keep your opinions to yourself, agree with everything they say, or make sure everyone likes you. She said just be yourself. Glad i listened to her advice, because in the end my the friends i made here appreciated the real me.

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Ultimately people come and go, but memories stay with us forever. It  is better you have a memory of your true self though sometimes it might not be all rosy than  have  a distorted ‘beautiful’ ones wherein you cannot even recognize who you really are. The right people would stay in your life, you don’t have to be cool or in the cool gang. The truest and most loyal people would love you when you are dressed up or down, crying or laughing, sad or happy, rich or poor. The memories of my journey would have been pleasant had i hidden my true self. Do the same.

The journey continues…

Hello world!


yatianaconteh

Every single day, we interact  with people. Strengthening old relationships, severing ties with some, forging new relationships with some and others we just let go. In order for this process/ journey to become bearable, we seek advice and crave to hear other  people’s story. It is an innate instinct in humans to know how the other person survived, so we learn from them.  However for a long time,  we hear more about romantic relationships than we do for platonic relationships.Relationships which if truth be told hold us up when the romantic ones try to break us down, though sometimes they try  to break up the romantic relationship ;).

It is based on this note i decided to start this blog. A space where we talk about our friends the ones who we love to hate but love anyways, the ones who stand by us when we are down even though…

View original post 167 more words

Hello world!


Every single day, we interact  with people. Strengthening old relationships, severing ties with some, forging new relationships with some and others we just let go. In order for this process/ journey to become bearable, we seek advice and crave to hear other  people’s story. It is an innate instinct in humans to know how the other person survived, so we learn from them.  However for a long time,  we hear more about romantic relationships than we do for platonic relationships.Relationships which if truth be told hold us up when the romantic ones try to break us down, though sometimes they try  to break up the romantic relationship ;).

It is based on this note i decided to start this blog. A space where we talk about our friends the ones who we love to hate but love anyways, the ones who stand by us when we are down even though they had warned us we would fall, the ones who do crazy  things with us just because they love us. Yes, love us. A romantic relationship is not the only thing you  experience love from, though you are not related by blood. Friends most of the time take the back bench in our busy lives. So I  feel we owe it to them to have a space where we can talk about our different friendships, female-male, male-female, male-male, female-female. I won’t describe myself as having a ton of friends, but i do have and from my experience with hem, past present and hopefully future, together we will walk on this journey. Together we will create a space for the large invisible people in our lives. Having one true friend in this world is truly  a blessing. However, if your partner happens to be your friend then this blog  applies to you also.

Cheers to all those who have been loyal to us. We love and appreciate you