Travel Goal Setting

We all know the age-old advice of setting goals before you start any new step in life. No matter what you are embarking on, everyone says you should have some sort of end vision in mind. I do not know about having an end goal in mind, but I do think that having a few achievements you would like to reach while abroad is important to realistically thinking about where you want to be after you come home.

For me, I looked at goals that I had set and reached during other major points in my life. When I started college, I wanted to be involved. I accomplished that ten-fold, but I knew that I sacrificed to make that happen. For my time abroad, I am thinking more about small things I want to do and what I hope to better about myself while I am gone. Below are my personal goals and tips on how I came to decide on these goals.

  1. Learn to speak Hindi conversationally and read Hindi fluently (or at least at 2nd grade level speed, haha)
  2. Engage deeply with locals, and see a new way of living
  3. Understand Political and Business environment in India through classes and newspaper reading
  4. Learn more about religion and spirituality in India
  5. Visit at least 8 different cities in India
  6. Volunteer outside of my required hours
  7. Look at social norms of US and India comparatively

I have been thinking of this for a while, but now that I am less than a month away (!) I am starting to think deeper about what I want from this trip. Part of the reason I decided to take this trip was because I felt disengaged from my daily life here. After talking with people in different stages of re-assimilation, I am worried this may make my day-to-day life here boring. I am curious about this most of all. However, I feel cautiously optimistic as two different students told me that their study abroad experience made them feel not only appreciative but more attentive of their daily life. Any thoughts? What are your goals for your journey?

Check out my instagram where for the next month I will try to post daily about my upcoming trip!

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10 thoughts on “Travel Goal Setting

  1. Somehow I thought I remembered that you’re going to Bangalore… If so the official language there is actually Kannada, though Hindhi, and English will also be heard. I’ve gone through different stages as far as appreciating what I have wherever I am. The first time I went to India and then went back to the US, I couldn’t sit still until I returned to India. But, over the years I’ve been able to appreciate both what western and eastern cultures have to offer, and now when I go back to the US I tend to enjoy myself a lot more, although you always see through different eyes every time you return to each place. I went back to the US a little over a year ago and that time I just couldn’t believe how much we consume just to throw away. Things that would be saved and reused many times, are just tossed in the trash (or hopefully recycle) in the US. Although most people when they first come back to India everything seems so much more dirty than they remember it as most places are much more sterile in the US. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. It can never hurt to become more expansive and aware.

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    • Yes I will be in Bangalore! It’s really cool that you remembered! I am hoping to study Hindi in grad school, so that is why that is one of my main goals. I hope I’ll be able to appreciate both cultures as well and maybe take the best of them with me everywhere I go. Thank you so much for reading and giving me advice!

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  2. Time abroad in India sounds awesome!

    I took a gap year between high school and college and studied abroad in Spain and Morocco. It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot and went through a lot of difficult times meeting people, being a naturally introverted person. But, I wouldn’t change those experiences for the world. When I went back to the States, it did take me a good year to fully readjust. I felt annoyed by certain things and missed Spain and Morocco a lot. At the same time, I also learned to appreciate little things that I’d always taken for granted in the States.

    Now that I’m living between London and Minnesota, I go through the same culture shock. I miss things from Minnesota (the lakes, all the open space, my family). However, when I’m back in the states, I miss things from London (not having to drive, not being stared at for walking places, my fiancé).

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    • Sorry, I accidentally hit the post button before I’d finished 😓.

      What I wanted to say was, I’ve learned that life is what I make it. And, that everywhere I travel, I’ll find things I love and hate. It’s just a matter of learning to enjoy where I am in that moment.

      I’m excited for you! It sounds like you have an adventure ahead. 😊

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    • I would love to go to Morocco after this! I think that area is so beautiful! I hope that I can really make the best of this amazing chance as you did and embrace both cultures with an enriched viewpoint. I am nervous and excited and unsure of how I’ll react! Maybe I’ll become a lifelong adventurer!

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  3. I just got home from a few days in the US Virgin Islands and have decided that within the next 10 years, I need to have a more international job that allows me to work abroad and/or just move to either South Florida, which will allow me to island hop frequently or move to the Caribbean. I know that all seems ping pong-ish, but remember about living abroad in college has me set on this new goal.

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    • That’s awesome! I think this year will define my career goals, and I’m so happy that you are looking for more travel! I think it would be great to move around, and maybe you could have another home on an island!

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