why I blog

I wanted to explain my thought process behind why I’m blogging about my experiences abroad. There are a few reasons why I decided it would be a good idea.

One of the biggest probably being that I don’t want to forget about my time here. When I was 13, I spent three weeks in Australia and I filled an entire notebook writing about anything and everything. I made sure to include things that were meaningful to me or thoughts that I’d had. I wrote about challenges I overcame, food that I ate, or funny things that happened. I added details and descriptions of the places I visited and facts that I thought were interesting. So much happened in those three weeks that it would have been hard to remember everything that I wanted to.

I also wrote every day as a way to reflect on my experiences and feelings, and to see my thoughts on paper. Writing is a form of therapy for me. A lot of times when I write I realize things that I hadn’t before, or I’m able to make better sense of things. I did this when I spent 10 days in Costa Rica as well, and I’m doing it now while in Denmark for six months.

Writing as a hobby has always brought me peace. I learn a lot about myself through what I write, and I think it’s a good way to keep in touch with my own mind and my own health. I look forward to sitting down at night, turning on some good music and writing down my thoughts. It’s part of my routine now, and establishing a routine adds a sense of normalcy in all the craziness I’m currently experiencing. I am thankful that writing serves both as an escape, but also a way to keep me centered and focused.

I think I’ve always felt this way about writing, but this time the difference is that my words are public. This was a little difficult for me to come to terms with because the things I tend to write about can sometimes be deeply personal. For example, I debated sharing the blog I created about struggling when I first arrived here and how hard it was for me to adjust. All of the things I wrote about were very real for me and while it felt good to write about it, I was nervous to publish that post because I wasn’t sure the type of response I would get. However, I want to be truthful in everything that I write and while I didn’t have to share it, I thought it was important to portray all sides of this experience. The good and the bad.

Another reason I took this opportunity to blog is because I am a journalism major. At UW – Madison I have so many opportunities to write. I write for my internship, for my classes and for extracurriculars. I am always writing for something. I still have some of those same things here, but I wanted a way to hold myself accountable. Writing is going to be a large part of my career in the future and it’s a skill that can sometimes be difficult or time consuming. This blog gives me a reason to write. It allows me an outlet to share my thoughts, but also gives me a place to practice proof-reading, editing, word choice and grammar.

It’s also an easy way to keep family, friends and coworkers updated all in one place. Many people have asked me to keep in touch and send pictures so this is a great way of doing that.

As a UW Study Abroad Correspondent I also write for UW students that are interested in, preparing for, or returning from a study abroad trip. I write about the things I wish I would have known before I studied abroad, and I hope it helps others to know that I am being as honest and open as I can about my feelings and experiences here. I hope to be a resource for anyone that has questions or is curious about life abroad, and want to help in any way I can.

So, that’s why I’m blogging. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go and was pretty nervous in the beginning, but I’ve only been met with love and support from everyone that reads my posts, which really helps make this transition easier for me. I’ll continue to post pictures and I have a couple ideas for blog posts that I’ll write about soon.  If there’s anything specific you’re wondering about, please let me know and I can write a blog about it!