Seeking A Global Life & A Look Back at My Junior Year Abroad

 

Today's post is a #MyGlobalLife Link up post.

This month I'm thinking that my life is seriously lacking the “global.” Even though I don't have a job that allows for overseas travel (yet…although I remain hopeful that I will be discovered as exactly who “they” are looking for to “live tweet” or blog about the World Cup Soccer games in Brazil)*, and I don't have a trip planned at this time…at all. I do enjoy reflecting back on my overseas adventures. The longest of which was my Junior year of college spent in Pamplona, Spain. Speaking of which, I do have one last possibility…and I am not above “coat-tailing” on my children's global experiences. Case in point, I accompanied my daughter and her college soccer team on their London & Barcelona training trip her Freshman year. It was awesome! My son is finishing up his Freshman year in college and is looking forward to doing an overseas Junior Year Abroad program somewhere. I am sure my husband and I are willing to go “somewhere,” too. To visit or to hang out for a while. I'm not picky.

In the meantime, here is a little trip down memory lane from my Junior Year Abroad…

My opportunity to spend my Junior Year Abroad happened 30 years ago, long before computers with Internet and E-mail. Long before social media allowing for face to face conversations, texting, tweeting, and Etc. And, long before telephones that you not only carry with you, but are capable of performing all of the above, plus take amazing photos and have “Apps” that contain maps, on the spot travel information, and more. Talk about a different world!

No, I left home with Traveler's Cheques and a small amount of the local currency (at the time it was the Spanish Peseta). I had a supply of special paper, thinner and “crispier” than normal paper and envelopes pre-printed with Par Avion (Air Mail) on them. And, a cute, colorful address book that contained everyone's home and school address that I planned to write to while I was gone. I also carried a Sprint Calling Card with many long streams of numbers to be dialed when making the international call home to my parents. It was highly unlikely that I would call any of my friends while they were at school–it was too expensive. And, what would I have said? I was in a foreign country. A country that none of my (American) friends had been to before, having experiences that were different from what I knew my friends were doing. So, I don't remember having that on my mind. I did write letters and mail them “via Air Mail” to my friends and family telling them about the people I was meeting and the classes I was taking. And I loved getting mail from home. It was a strange feeling to be living so far away from everyone. I remember someone telling me, “Picture a map. Now picture where you are on it and where home is.” It was a powerful visual for me back then. There was a degree of disconnectedness that later “Juniors” (especially those traveling these days) would not have to experience. In fact, there were far fewer American students studying abroad back in those days, probably because it was such a disconnecting and different experience. And, the world was not as inter-connected as it is today.

*A girl can dream, right?

 

“Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com” – See more at: http://www.smallplanetstudio.com/2014/02/28/february-mygloallife-link-up/#sthash.LHzXs3QW.dpuf

 

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2 thoughts on “Seeking A Global Life & A Look Back at My Junior Year Abroad

  1. This brings back memories! I, too, went abroad with an address book, airmail paper, a calling card, travelers checks, and a small amount of cash that I had to order from the bank. And a thick photo album, a mini stereo, and far too many cassette tapes.

    What I remember most is that deep feeling of disconnectedness that you mention. I felt it the moment I stepped on the plane and realized I wouldn’t see my parents for 12 months. It was so lonely at first but later it was empowering.

    I admit, though, that I’m glad I can Skype, email, and text my husband and parents when I’m abroad now! I so appreciate these tools and I rarely feel that deep sense of disconnection anymore when I’m out of the US.

    Thanks sharing this post and for linking this to the #MyGlobalLife Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com!

    • Hi Cate! It was such a different time back then, and really hard for younger folks to understand. I feel the same about being able to keep in touch with my family when any of us are travelling. It’s a gift!

      I really thank you for offering these link-ups. It allows me to take some very nice walks down memory lane, as I think about possible global topics for a post to submit.

      Thanks for your comment! Have a global day! ~Angie

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