Trying to adapt to living in a foreign place is no doubt one of the most overwhelming experiences a young adult can encounter. A few weeks into my adjustment period, I found myself coming down with a cold. The pressure in my ears was off, I had a runny nose and a sore throat, and I eventually developed a bit of a cough. Great.
I would allow myself a nap here and there in order to help my system, but I could tell that I was going to start using it as an excuse. What if this cold lasts a month? I mean for obvious reasons, I would hope not. But if it did, would I let it take over as an excuse for me to not explore and do the things I had always wanted to do? To put myself out there, meet new people, and go new places? Once I started wondering about this, a housemate of mine invited me on a day trip to the Yorkshire Dales to go hiking.
Even though I had just thought about not letting these excuses keep me from any adventures, excuses started bubbling up. My mother would be upset that I went and hiked outside in the cold while I was sick. I have asthma, too. I’ve never really hiked before, and I am definitely not that athletic. I really should work on my readings for classes. I’m just really tired. I don’t even have proper footwear.
Then I realized, who cares? I can’t let myself drown in possible excuses or negativity. That is not why I am here – I have dreamed of studying abroad, of seeing the UK, of meeting new people to go on adventures with. So I bought a train ticket and packed a lot of cough drops.
Did I come out of the experience with sore legs, muddy boots, a red face and slightly screaming lungs? Well, yes. But as you can tell, I captured some amazing photos of the beautiful area. It brought me closer to some of my housemates, I got some exercise, and I met a lot of sheep. Also, I had a half pint of some delicious rhubarb cider afterwards as a reward. I don’t regret it in the slightest (although my poor boots might). Moral of the story: don’t let worries and excuses keep you from adventuring. Within reason, of course. Pack cough drops.