Now that I’ve had time to fully reflect on my time abroad and recover from my study abroad “hangover” I can say that my experiences were more than anything I could’ve ever hoped for. I went on the Spring voyage of Semester at Sea this past semester and really went into it with an open mind since there’s so much to plan and prepare for and probably hundreds of hours’ worth of SAS vloggers giving advice. I traveled to over 20 countries (11 with SAS and most of Western Europe post-SAS) and each country exceeded my expectations. My advice is to not plan too much and be spontaneous while you’re there.
My experience was very spontaneous considering the way we planned things on SAS. We only had three computers that had unlimited internet access (and only 7 minutes of internet for our phones) so many nights right before we docked were spent booking in-country travel for the next few days. I was able to do so many things that I never would’ve been able to if I had booked trips months out. There were some countries that I definitely planned things out in advance like India and Kenya because you can’t really book a trip to the Taj Mahal or a safari the day before but in the European countries, I went to it was much easier to figure out what to do when we got there. Spontaneity introduced me to some of my best friends and showed me some of the most amazing things and I’m sure it will do the same for you.
I also have some advice for when you return home and that is to take time to reflect and journal how you’re feeling post studying abroad. I journaled every day throughout the four months I was away and continuing on with that when I got home made it much easier to adjust. It’s important to try and keep some of your abroad routines when you get back home and find comfort in that so you can continue and reflect on all of your amazing experiences.