Almost a month ago now, I arrived in Uppsala, Sweden, to begin my studies at Uppsala Universitet. Almost a month before that, I left Australia to spend some time travelling beforehand.
I started my travels in London. I travelled with friends to Paris, and we travelled through France together. After we parted ways I travelled to Italy for a week, before embarking on a two-week road trip around Iceland. My month’s travelling was amazing; Iceland in particular was like nothing I have ever experienced before, and was one of the greatest times of my life.
After a month of constantly being on the move, rarely staying in the same place twice, it has certainly been an odd experience to once again settle down in a single location. Compared to the weeks I spent travelling, the daily routine involved in living in one place (cleaning, going to uni, studying etc.) can almost feel boring and monotonous at times. But it need not be the case.
Travelling is so much fun because you are always exposing yourself to new sights and experiences. Staying still for too long can become associated with stagnation if you aren’t careful. Coming from the excitement of travel to the tedium of regular life can be a little jarring. I think that there are two key things to do when starting exchange:
- Apply the travelling mindset to your daily life:
Break your routine and seek out new experiences. Always have a trip planned, even if it’s just a walk to a nearby landmark.
- Leverage the opportunities that staying put can offer:
Make the kind of long term friendships that are difficult to come by while travelling. Explore your city in a level of detail you simply wouldn’t have the time to if you were passing through.
These lessons are the exact kind of thing that everyone told me when I left for exchange. Despite that, I think they’re something that I had to realise myself, and I’ve found that putting them into action is the hard part. Ultimately, I hope that I can take these reflections and apply them to my life when I get back to Australia.
Dylan Zachary Treisman
Bachelor of Information Technology