Coming to a foreign place (literally!) with lots of new girls can be scary. Especially when I prefer to be ‘behind the lens’ of almost every situation. I have always preferred finding solitude to capture an untouched moment in nature, or how the sun can make a blue building look pink or how golden hour seems to be the light sent straight from heaven. But, branching out and turning my lens around is the new challenge here. To do that, finding friends is essential, even if it is just a tiny group that I can be myself around. That’s the other thing. It can be hard to truly be myself, but it is so so important. All of the girls here are so different and interesting and that’s what makes them unique and special. I have found some close friends that I already love, but every human has something to offer and more often than not that person will be absolutely amazing! So in these next weeks, I will challenge myself to turn the camera around and maybe take a few more group pics, but I also won’t forget that being alone is OK and if I want to lose myself in taking pictures of how green the grass is or how yellow the flowers are, that’s OK too.
OK! So, now that I have decided I will branch out and not be so nervous to make new friends, I’m going to share why this trip has been so beneficial to me in doing this. Each weekend I get to travel to new places with these girls that will likely become my life-long friends! I did not know most of them before deciding to study abroad. In fact, I don’t think I met my closest friends until the second day here and we have only been here about 4 weeks. There is something about traveling and having to navigate together which train is the correct one or finding out that the ferry on Sundays does not run the same time as we all thought we had previously figured out that it did. These moments bond people together. Coming and sharing these life-changing experiences with new friends sort of molds our lives together and has made me a stronger person altogether. Considering all of this, I have found the most uncomfortable or foreign situations lead to the most amazing, challenging, and life-changing experiences.