10 New Year's Resolutions every Year Abroader should make
Because you know you won't end up using that gym membership.
- 1. Keep a vocab diary.
- 2. Stop comparing your experience to others.'
- 3. Stop punishing yourself for having a bad day.
- 4. Don't be afraid to make a change
- 5. Talk to strangers
- 6. Cross something off your bucket list
- 7. Try the local delicacy.
- 8. Conquer a fear
- 9. Learn a new skill
- 10. Put down the smartphone
1. Keep a vocab diary.
Yes, I know you already have one. But actually KEEP a vocab diary.
2. Stop comparing your experience to others.'
That means no more bouts of depression if your latest Instagram post doesn’t get any likes. And no stealth deleting either. You liked the photo enough to post it, so don’t waste your time seeking others’ approval. All you’re doing is editing your memories to fit an imaginary ideal. Stop.
3. Stop punishing yourself for having a bad day.
Would you attack a friend for having a bit of a wobble? No? Then don't be cruel to yourself. Bad days are what a cup of tea and an episode of Friends were made for.
4. Don't be afraid to make a change
If you're fundamentally unhappy with the way your year abroad has worked out, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Hate your job? Quit. There are other jobs, but only one year abroad. Don't fritter time away wishing it were different. Take the steps to change it.
5. Talk to strangers
Especially locals. They have the inside knowledge. Force them to share it.
6. Cross something off your bucket list
It doesn't matter whether it's jumping out of a plane, skinny dipping in the ocean or simply visiting a new city. If you're feeling apprehensive, ask yourself 'If not now, when?'. That tends to put things in perspective.
7. Try the local delicacy.
Even if it looks disgusting and you’re certain you’ll hate it. If the worst comes to the worst, at least you’ll have an entertaining anecdote. Remember that time in Bangkok when you nearly vomited deep-fried crickets over an innocent bystander? High-fives all round!
8. Conquer a fear
If you hate speaking to strangers, introduce yourself to someone at a party or in a bar. If you’re nervous of the sea, take a scuba diving lesson. Yes, you might humiliate yourself, but it’s just possible that most of the fear is in your mind. Be brave.
9. Learn a new skill
Preferably a skill directly related to your year abroad location. Where better to try out flamenco than in Andalusia, for example? You never know, you might be the next Joaquín Cortés! Or you might be rubbish. But no one back home needs to know that.
10. Put down the smartphone
Having photos is wonderful, but do you know what’s even better? Being present in the moment. As the great Louis CK says, the resolution on your eyes is totally HD.