Insights: news and views from the International Center

International Center

University of Missouri

Blisters are a blessing

Filed in Blog, Italy by on April 21, 2017
by Christa C.
Departing from Chicago

The first day of my study abroad program in the Chicago Airport.

I was fortunate enough to grow up traveling all over the country with my family. Both of my parents’ parents have a passion for traveling that they passed down to my parents, who have passed it to my sister and me. When we grew up, it was no surprise that we both decided to study abroad, not because we had to, but because we were begging to.

When I visited Switzerland a few weekends ago, there was a sign on the bathroom door of the hostel, Balmers, that read “It’s a big world out there… It’d be a shame not to experience it.”

More often than not, I have found myself on a walking tour in some beautiful city of Europe. The birds are chirping, colors are popping, people from all over the world to my left and right, and yet all I can think of is… Blisters. I can almost feel myself turning negative and thinking of all the reasons I don’t want to be there, like being tired or hungry.

Then I pinch myself and remember, sometimes a blister is a blessing. It means you’ve been somewhere. It’s so important to try to have a better attitude toward traveling because, as fun as it is, it can be a challenge. You need to be on time for your flight (finding the cheaper way to get to the airport while ballin’ on a budget), print out tickets (because some airlines will charge you if you don’t print them off beforehand), have everything packed (and locked) and have a carry-on that meets the requirements (every airline is different and will likely charge you 30–50 euro for this snafu). It can get to be a lot, to say the least, when this is your life every weekend for four months.

Sometimes things don’t go your way and your nickname is on your ticket instead of your legal name, so you have to 160 euro at 6:35 a.m. before your 7:15 am. flight to Africa to change the name because, in Europe, they consider it a “completely different person,” no matter how much documentation you show them. Or so I’ve been told…

Or you make it all the way to through baggage drop and security, only to find you’ve misplaced your passport because, in Europe, they don’t check your passport until right before you get on the plane. (Trust me, I’ve seen it happen. It’s not pretty.)

But this is why it is so helpful to remember that you are going somewhere! There is a reason and meaning behind each adventure I am going on that will last a lifetime — and I don’t want those memories to be tainted with thinking about something irrelevant to my happiness there. My little adventure has been everything I have wanted and then some. It hasn’t come easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

About the blogger

Christa C. is studying abroad on the SAI Programs: Florence University of the Arts program in Italy.

Comments are closed.