written by Dakota Dickerson
Abroad. Just the word itself breeds thoughts of tall mountains and crazy cool instagrams with your friends. Now add in another word before abroad: Study. This provokes thoughts of writing an essay atop a hillside, looking at beautiful city as the sun sets, or enjoying the writing of a famous author in one of the most renowned libraries in the world. However, what those two words don’t tell you, is that sometimes you have to be the one to make your own memories. This could be anything from taking a train to a far off land, or simply taking a different way home from class. Being abroad means you have a real life: “choose-your-own-adventure” book in the palm of your hand, waiting to be written by no one else than yourself. But, just because the choices are yours, do not mean you have to go it alone, because what good is an amazing memory if you have no one to share it with?
I have already had quite a few spontaneous adventures, all because I had an open mind and a willingness to get lost and wander. On one occasion, I found myself and a friend wondering what to do after reading a very heavy play on sex trafficking in the U.K. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to fall asleep after reading something as such, we decided to walk out the front door of our lovely residency in Glasgow, Scotland, get on a pair of Next bikes, and just ride around the city for two hours, going over the most beautifully lit bridges and seeing parts of the city we would never would have, had we not ventured past Sauchiehall street. After all the sightseeing, we were able to have a satisfying conclusion by stopping at a 24-hour McDonald’s before riding back.
Another adventure that snuck up on some friends and I was an incredibly – and quite unbelievably might I add – sunny day in Scotland, where we skipped our lunch break to go blindly searching for a basketball court to play on. We ran from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and somehow ended up at the Glasgow Caledonian University, playing on a full-sized court outside, and reserving the gymnasium for the entire Pepperdine Theatre Program for later that night. Could we have guessed that would have happened? Absolutely not.
The key to these adventures is that we said “yes.” We kept an open mind and a willingness to fail, and just went for it! I encourage all of you reading this to apply it to your daily life, wherever you may be! Say yes, take risks, break out of your comfort zone, because anything safe isn’t worth the drive. Just remember, you are always abroad from somewhere, it just depends on your perspective.