Why I’m not going on exchange to “find myself”

I’ve written on this topic before about the need to travel and “find yourself.” This post is going to be more or less the same thing…except I’m writing it from an airport gate about to depart on a 10+ hour flight to Amsterdam, layover for 3 hours, then continue on to Norwich for a three month study abroad session in the United Kingdom. (I find it amusing that the passengers of this flight are mostly older folks, save a teary young man calling his girlfriend or something).

The reason I’m going away isn’t really to discover some greater meaning in life or myself. Rather, I thought it was high time I get a crash course in taking care of myself. No, not the kind of taking care of yourself you do crouched in front of a toilet at 3AM after a night of hardcore drinking and partying. A little more mundane than that—stuff like learning how to get your paperwork together, learning how to live with other people, learning how to navigate a different country with nothing but Google Maps (thank the Lord for Google Maps).

Throughout the last couple of weeks of travel planning, I’ve learned that being an Independent Adult is as much planning your next adventure and getting really really stoked about it as it is filling out forms and checking and double checking and triple checking that you have everything you need so as to not be turned back at the border of your new adventureland. It also means rolling your eyes when Older Adults give you Travel Advice only to realize later that they were maybe at least 90% right…

Otherwise, like I’ve written about earlier, I don’t have a need to find myself because I already know where I am. I’m at a somewhat-naive, doesn’t-know-what-to-do-when-she-grows-up-but-oh-wait-she’s-grown-up university student who’s finally embarking on the Go Away To Study dream she’s had since she was a-little-girl-without-any-realistic-knowledge-of-finances.

So instead of going abroad to find myself, I’m going away to Find Other Stuff. Find other people, places, things, and ideas. And finding out how to do things I’ve never done before.


3 thoughts on “Why I’m not going on exchange to “find myself”

  1. Pingback: Post-Travel Identity Crisis Follow-up Post (Study Abroad reflections pt.4.5) | breakfast with words

  2. – – – – – –

    Excited for you! Listening to Older Adults – as tough but important lesson to learn, I think. Don’t come back with to much of an English accent.. Or do.. it might sound lulling.

    Take care 😉


  3. Good luck. 🙂 Doesn’t it sound like the perfect time to travel?!
    I think you are already a Responsible Adult for making this trip happen!
    I think it’s too big of a claim to say you’re travelling and not finding yourself. You always find yourself in new places, always, even when you don’t intend to, and you will never stick to the version of yourself you thought you were, ever. It is definitely a reason why travel is addictive.


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