Studying abroad is undoubtedly one of the most exciting things I have ever done. Traveling the world is something that I have always dreamed of, and now that I am here, I am dealing with an unexpected internal battle. When I get excited my mind begins to race and think of all the other amazing things I could do or want to do. This may not sound like a troublesome mindset, but I noticed that these thoughts have started detaching me from what is happening right before me. I am doing the UA in Italy: Food & Wine program and each day is filled with multiple excursions and activities with many lessons about traditional Italian food and wine culture. The hosts at each location that we go to are always filled with knowledge to share about their specific craft, whether it be making balsamic vinegar or working in a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, and I have missed a few chances to really absorb their information because my mind has been elsewhere. Thoughts of “I wish we had time to go see ______,” and “I saw someone’s post at _____ which is nearby. I should find time to go by there tonight,” have been filling my head.

Thankfully, I noticed that my mind was straying from where it needed to be and I was able to revert back to a saying that has gotten me through many internal battles similar to this. The saying is, “Be where your feet are.” There is nothing wrong with dreaming of other travel plans and possible additions to the itinerary of your current trip, but when those thoughts begin to distract you from the amazing experiences right in front of you it is important to take a step back and adjust your frame of mind. After reminding myself to simply “be where my feet are,” I was able to focus more on what I was currently experiencing rather than wishing I could do more and more. I am sure that many other people have experienced the same thing. It is my first time traveling out of the country, I have safely arrived, and it feels like the entire world is at my fingertips. My biggest piece of advice for anyone who is currently abroad or planning to go abroad in the future is to keep the saying, “Be where your feet are,” in the back of your mind in case your thoughts start to detach you from your experiences as well. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to dream of new places and experiences, but it is equally important to soak up the small details surrounding you in the current moment so you can truly “be where your feet are” and not miss a thing!