Living abroad: My thoughts on it have changed

Back when I was in college, just after I finished my first two semesters, I remember considering a study abroad program. I considered visiting a Spanish-speaking country for a month or two and knocking out some Spanish course credits, hopefully learning Spanish in the process.

What’s interesting to me about this memory is that, at the time, going to live in a different country for two months sounded like a huge commitment, something up there with the most significant experiences of my life.

Now I just got back from a five-week trip through southeast Asia. And while it was certainly a significant experience, something I hope I never forget, it didn’t feel as massive as I thought that trip to the Spanish country would be back then.

Back then, I’d never lived anywhere else. I’d certainly never lived in a foreign country. The trip to southeast Asia, though, immediately followed a 13-month stay in Korea. So southeast Asia just felt like a normal trip, amazing but not such a big deal even though it was amazing.

And that’s interesting because it shows I’ve changed so much. My world shrank while I was away.