Making All the Right Choy(ces)
In August 2013, someone asked me: "Do you want to study abroad?" Hesitantly and unknowingly, fresh out of high school, first year me, who was still trying to figure out where I was and what each building was called, I answered: "I think so." The decision to study abroad changed my life in all kinds of clichéd ways that sound unreal, until you've experienced it and realize that there's no tangible way to describe your feeling of wanderlust and growth. It's like The Matrix, when the man is unplugged and suddenly is able to see everything; that is what traveling the world did to my perspective on life. This was the first Choy(ce); the first step in the right direction.
Choosing to leave everything I knew and loved, especially a boy I was entirely infatuated with, was one of the hardest decisions my naive, 18 year-old self could have made, but what came out of it was entirely worth it. I traded social standards and fear of missing out (FOMO) with traveling to 23 countries, pride and love for who I am, and a new sense of confidence in which you can't find in the States alone.
The first country I visited was Austria, more specifically: Salzburg, AT. This would be my new home for 9 months.