What a Difference 5 Years Makes…

…or not. Because based on these pictures (both taken at the Pantheon in Rome Italy – but 5 years apart) I haven’t aged not one bit. If I keep this up I’ll be the flyest 50 year old you’ll have ever known! No, but really, why do I not look at least one month older in that second picture?! I mean, it’s been half a decade!

The photo to the left – October 2006, HU student, two months into my study abroad experience in Italy (which was my first time out of the US), one of the few people who are actually using Skype already, my only cares in the world were a) I hope we don’t miss our train back to Milano and b)I hope it rains during Homecoming so I don’t feel like I missed anything (I’m sure it did), memories of hostels and overnight trains.

The photo on the right – January 2012, 5 years, 5 moves, three jobs, an engagement (and subsequent disengagement) and half a master’s degree later, my job is paying for me to visit these places (i.e. no more hostels!)

What a difference 5 years makes! You NEVER know where this life or your travels will take you. Who knew that this one journey during the Fall of 2006 would actually end up changing the trajectory of my life COMPLETELY! People always say studying abroad is a “life changing experience” but in my case it literally was. Studying abroad planted the seed for me to first start encouraging others to study abroad, and then to travel in general, led me to volunteer for a nonprofit called the National Center for Global Engagement, and ultimately led me to quit my well-paying corporate job to go back and start that Master’s Degree in International Education. And all of that somehow has gotten me to the point where I am today, as a coordinator for diversity in a study abroad office for a campus of 35,000+ students. Crazy! But perfect…

Most people like to say, “Think outside the box” but like the motto of our office, I’d like to say “Think outside your borders.” Your life’s passion and calling may be waiting for you just on the other side of a passport stamp. I’m not saying you may begin to work in the travel industry, but seeing different ways of life really opens your eyes and your heart to all that is possible out there. You don’t have to be limited to 40+ hours of misery or even mediocrity. The world is yours forreal – it’s just up to you to go out there and see it!

Let’s see where 5 more years gets me. So far it’s looking pretty good!

 

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6 thoughts on “What a Difference 5 Years Makes…

  1. Love the blog post! I have been reading your blog religiously for the past two years and enjoy every blog post! Your life seems amazing and I live through your travels and experiences. I hope to travel in the ways you do when I transfer to a 4 year college (I’m in a community college until I graduate this fall and it sucks!)

    • Aww Sarah thank you so much for stopping by and showing support! I sure hope you get to study abroad when you get to your new university – and if I can help you figure it all out in ANY way don’t hesitate to let me know. Oh and even though you’re at a CC now you can still come on some of our short-study study abroad programs. If you want more info just let me know and I can tell you how that works 🙂

  2. Just love all of your blogs, your dad always send them to me but just love the most recent one! Keep up the Great Work!!! Be Blessed!

  3. Good for you! I love your philosophy and outlook on life and travel. I am all about that although I haven’t been travelling enough.
    Also, you look amazing but really, are you really surprised? lol.

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