I’ve shared a bit about my time in Mexico, and this is the final post. If you want to read the other posts about my Oaxaca trip, then here they are:
- Introducing Oaxaca
- The Shock before the Culture
- Looking Back: My First Day Abroad
- Exploring the City: Oaxaca
- Monte Albán y Atzompa
- Mitla y El Tule
- Getting My Second Wind in Oaxaca
- When a Tree Was a Cactus
- Hierve el Agua
- My Last Week in Mexico
If you read all of those, then you’ve basically got my experience in Mexico in a nutshell. To wrap it all up, I want to share the top three things I learned while I studied in Mexico.
No. 1: Language
Really, I did learn a lot about Spanish and speaking a foreign language. It wasn’t just the verbs and all that, but it was also how to try. I had always gone through language classes thinking that conjugation and spelling were the most important parts.
In reality, the most important thing is listening (which is harder than you might think!) and trying your best to respond. I didn’t always use proper grammar and sometimes I didn’t know the vocabulary, but I was always able to communicate the general idea of what I was trying to say.
No. 2: Travel sometimes sucks, so laugh
I cannot even begin to explain how many times we were caught out in thunderstorms, nor can I explain how uncomfortable it was to be sick and try to have a good attitude about it.
Even though I was not happy at all to be sick or soaking wet in a storm, it happens. Travel is not always glamorous. Sometimes it just sucks. Laughing at the fact that you had five shots in your rear end makes it suck less.
No. 3: Experience over material stuff
In the past, I have been notorious for packing everything under the sun in order to cover every single, “What if?” Now, I have learned that the more stuff you have, the more you have to carry around and deal with. To be honest, I could have taken a lot less clothes and such. I didn’t really need two whole suitcases for just three weeks.
I should have been more creative with less so that I could enjoy myself more. But it’s not just packing, it’s also purchases. Did I really need to buy something everywhere I went? No, and I didn’t. It was enough for me to enjoy the day, take a few pictures, and buy a few gifts for family here and there.
Ultimately, I learned a lot about living in another country, no matter how brief my stay was. In reality, three weeks is not enough to get to know a place completely foreign to you. I feel like I just scratched the surface.
I was so thankful for this time abroad, especially for the generous scholarship I received. I hope many more people (especially students!) enjoy this lovely country and the city of Oaxaca in the future.