Happy New Year! How did you spend your Christmas and New Year’s break?
Many international students like traveling to somewhere exotic or going back home during the holidays – if we can afford it.
For our Christmas break, Nico and I traveled on an extraordinary adventure. We went to the Faroe Islands! (That’s us in the photo!)
In case you don’t know, the Faroe Islands (FO) is located between Scotland and Iceland. It is made up of 18 islands with a population of 50,000. A few years ago, I stayed for 1 year as an exchange student in the Faroe Islands. Since then, I have developed a deep attachment to the place, which has driven me back there again and again over the years.
Many of us enjoy traveling to new places for the excitement of different cultures, landscapes, or climates etc. I used to like that too until I learnt to explore new things from the same place. How? The key is to change your perspectives.
For example, I have always known that the FO is one of the safest places you can ever go. In the FO, the locals normally do not lock their front doors. They expect you to come through the front door and call for their attention instead! One of my friends told me that she only locks her door when she sleeps. Even if she is not home, her door is always unlocked in case someone needs to help themselves to some food from her fridge. I never even noticed that they don’t lock their cars, until Nico asked me why there was an unattended car with the engine running in front of a shop. I was shocked by the level of trust in human nature in the FO!
Another thing that I have learnt about traveling is to slow down.
Over Christmas, a fierce storm hit the FO at its peak of 74m/s. We were forced to cancel all our outdoor activities and we were literally trapped in our accommodation for 3 days. Since we had plenty of time in the house, we took our time to prepare our meals, talk to our hosts, and stare out of the windows. The food, the conversations and the views had never been so enjoyable! When I live in the here and now, every moment is precious and beautiful.
In 2017, can we learn to change our perspectives, slow down, and choose to live in the here and now?