“Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.” – Emily Dickinson

Today marks exactly one year since I set off on my journey to South Korea. It took me through four airports, two countries and many an hour sat waiting in said airports, but it was the best journey I have ever made. At the end of the journey there lay a whole month ahead of me to spend exploring, learning, making friends, discovering new foods and places and activities. Some of these friends have become some of my best friends and I know they will be with me for my entire life. The trip gave me direction in life and now, after so many years just floating on by with no definite direction, I finally have a goal. It was quite possibly the best month of my life.

It is on this anniversary that I want to talk a little about opportunities.

Throughout our life we are offered so many opportunities. Right from the very beginning, in nursery/playschool/kindegarten, whatever you want to call it, we are given the chance to visit farms and museums and oh-so-exciting places. In primary school we are offered trips to other cities and to see musicals and other shows. In secondary school we have our first chance to go abroad, to France or Spain or Germany, and later on maybe America or Australia. If you’re a part of the Scouting Association you can apply to go to the nationwide and worldwide Jamborees, if you do a World Challenge you might go to India or Costa Rica, and if you’re on a sports team you might go on a tour in Bulgaria or Italy. When young, we don’t understand how much these opportunities are really worth.

When you get to university your opportunities are broadened even further. By joining societies you can travel far and wide – skiing, more team tours, international competitions, conventions, you name it. I was lucky enough as a student of the School of Languages and Social Sciences to be offered the chance to travel to South Korea for one month to study at the University of Seoul. I took this opportunity, grasped it both hands, and it was the best thing I have ever done.

I wanted to take this chance to tell anyone who will listen to take every opportunity you are offered, especially if you are excited by the sound of it. These things, while they look amazing on your CVs and enrich you skill bank and make you so much more employable, also let you make amazing memories and have so much fun. Not only do you learn about another place and culture, but my trip abroad taught me so much about myself and how much I can fall in love with a place!

I understand this was a bit of a ramble, and I’m not surprised it was as I’m feeling a little emotional and very nostalgic today! Just for the sake of it, here’s a photo.

So in short, take every opportunity you can, because you don’t know which one might change your life forever.

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