by Starr Ramos
My resolution for this year was to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I can proudly say I accomplished this over the summer as I interned abroad in Dublin, Ireland for 9 weeks alone.
One thing you need to know about me is that I am not very social and have anxiety about being by myself, so this was a big deal.
If you told me freshman year I would solo travel across the world for an extended period of time, I wouldn’t have believed it. At that point in my life, I would barely go to the dining hall without company. I was so dependent on the presence of people to make me feel comfortable that I trapped myself in a bubble, hindering my growth and restricting me from making certain connections. This is what led me to apply for a study abroad program, even if it meant I was going to be alone.
Days before my flight would take off, I broke down in fear of diving into the unknown. I was so paranoid, but looking back, I see it was a good fear. I was breaking out of my comfort zone which is never easy, but definitely necessary.
During my time in Europe, I learned to go to restaurants, movies and museums alone; it was freeing. While humans are social beings, finding peace within oneself is enriching. I am so grateful that I was able to break out of my comfort zone and travel the world.
Besides living in the beautiful country of Ireland, I had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and London. I made friends during my stay and was able to travel with them. This was another big step for me since I don’t make friends easily.
The one trip where I went by myself, to Amsterdam, was by far my favorite. I don’t know if it was because I was alone but there was something about that city that felt so right.
While abroad, I learned the valuable lesson of learning to be comfortable with my own presence. Solo traveling and studying abroad is something I recommend to everyone. I challenge whomever is reading this to find a way to break out of your own comfort zone before 2019 ends because I know I definitely did.
A version of this originally appeared in
The Teller November 2019 Issue #8
Most Recent Posts
The month of the Scorpio
The month of the Libra
By Marissa Ammon Let’s face it, seniors who are graduating high school or college in 2020 are going to need some encouragement to get through this difficult time during their last year of school. The best way to show how much we appreciate them is to give them a present that they will treasure forever. … Read more
By Sarah Cunningham I don’t enjoy sharing my opinion with others. Actually as a rephrase, I used to enjoy sharing my opinions with others. Anyone can agree that having a conversation with those who have extreme mentalities and are eager to argue is unbearable. It definitely seems that I’ve had way too many of those.… Read more
By Pamela Loperena Resilience is the psychological backbone of the human mind. It serves as a source of strength for people to rely on after enduring trauma, misfortune or disaster. Resilience helps individuals adjust to negative life situations with greater ease, allowing them to remain calm, even when all odds are against them. Without the… Read more
By Sarah Bale I woke up on April 8in the midst of a pandemic to the news that Senator Bernie Sanders was ending his campaign for the 2020 presidential election. Soon after, floods of individuals on social media stated that they will not vote in the November election because Sanders is not the Democratic nominee.… Read more