Quiet. Peace. Scenery. Sometimes you have to take a step back while studying abroad. The reasons for this are plentiful. You could need a second to breathe and take everything in, or you could need an escape to relax. Whatever the case may be, there is nothing wrong with turning your phone on airplane mode, listening to music, and reading a good book with a breathtaking scenery in your view.
I lucked out on getting a room with a balcony. This balcony looks out to the beautiful Table Mountain. This balcony represents my foundation in a time where everything is new and foreign. It is my personal hidden gem because it is quiet. It is on this balcony that I often sit here and reflect on my experience thus far. I often sit on this balcony and pray because that’s what centers me. I can sit back in the questionably sturdy chair, and get lost in my recently purchased Trevor Noah book, Born a Crime. I often sit and watch the sun rise at 6 in the morning because it is almost completely silent outside, with the exception of the soft whispers of the wind. I even come to this balcony and to call my boyfriend/best friend and vent about how I sometimes miss home.
It’s okay to want to take a moment for yourself because you are your top priority. It’s also very okay to turn down a night of going out for a night of reading or Netflix binging. You are in control of shaping your study abroad experience any way you desire. You are no longer on the hilltop and that “autopilot” routine you once had, will cease to exist during your months abroad. So, take care of yourself because self-care is the best care.