Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Written by Carley April 5, 2017

Cinque Terre, Italy

Hiking in Cinque Terre

Walking away from the best semester yet


Good views and better friends

After 12 weeks, 7 countries, and 11 cities, it’s safe to say life has been anything but consistent. Three months ago I probably would’ve said that was a bad thing, but today I would argue that it has kept my life abroad interesting. While constantly traveling to new places and having to adapt to new cultures and languages (more often language barriers), I’ve been able to not only step out of my comfort zone but expand it.

Back home I was so used to living the same routine day in and out that I rarely did anything that made me step out of my comfort zone. Class, work, homework, study, repeat. This was basically my daily routine during past semesters. Coming to CIMBA completely on my own, I’ve learned to live for and love the unexpected.

Coming up to our last week at CIMBA means most of us will be returning home shortly and have to completely readjust to being home. While my mom might say I’ve acquired the travel bug, I can’t completely disagree with that. (I may or may not have already looked up plane tickets to come back and I haven’t even left yet.) Just like when we came to CIMBA, when we go home, we will have to completely adapt to our old, pre-study abroad lives. As my dad put it, “back to reality.” For me this means a summer class, an internship, and unfortunately, readjusting to work life.

Learning to be adaptable has been one of the biggest takeaways from my study abroad experience. Whether it was traveling to a different region in Italy or an entirely new country, I never knew what to expect. Usually with only a few days, we had to pick up on new people, places, languages, and cultures. Although I can’t say I have mastered Italian, I can definitely say I’m a lot better at the game of charades (thanks to nonverbal communication).

With only 5 days left at CIMBA, I’m sad as well as anxious to return to my life at home. While I’m excited to see friends and family, I will definitely miss the family I’ve created here in Italy. Italy has definitely earned a spot in my heart, and although I may be a few thousand miles away, I know I will without a doubt be back to visit one day.