Reflection and Future Planning: Returning from Tanzania

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My education abroad experience last month was undoubtedly the best month of my life. I have come back home with so many unique experiences and new ideas about my past and future. The last week at Moyo Hill Camp was so much fun, but I had a little bit of a looming anxiety because I knew I didn’t want to leave and come home. I built incredible relationships with peers and faculty over the past month, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

I think the anxiety part of the feeling didn’t come from having to say bye, but more-so the thought that I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get a chance to see these people or this beautiful country again. I hope and dream that I will be able to see it all again, and can travel to more and more countries as well, but I have come to peace with the fact that this specific program, and this stint in Tanzania, is over. I can’t be too upset that it’s over because it was probably the best experience of my life. So, there’s no room for pity or sadness, but instead happiness and gratitude that I had this amazing opportunity that has changed my life for the better.

Throughout the month, as I believe I’ve stated in my past blog entries, there were multiple occasions where I had a chance to reflect on my present life situation and appreciate the opportunity I had and how it made me feel while I was in Tanzania. The people I met and the views that I saw made me feel more comfortable, content, and at peace than I have in a very long time, in all sorts of different places. I realized during this program that I can actually say with pride and confidence that I’m on the right path in my life and I have a vision for my future.

This course in Fundamentals of Wildlife Management solidified my confidence in my choice of major and reinforced/rejuvenated my passion for the future. The material I learned, and more specifically the field exercises and research activities that my classmates and I did, helped me realize that I definitely want to work in the field of wildlife research, conservation, and management in my future. I’m not sure exactly what careers I will find in the future of the field, but I cannot wait to discover new opportunities and pursue the happiness and fun that I felt during my study abroad program in Tanzania. 

In addition to rejuvenating my passion and ideas for future careers, this program also brought back a sense of joy, excitement, and love of life to me. I have never felt so excited for what the future of my life holds. I’m definitely excited for future jobs and careers, but on top of that, my personal life and future looks so bright and fun to me. My love of traveling is at an all-time high and I can’t wait to explore the world as much as I can in the future.

My vision of the next ten years, in terms of graduate school, traveling, and settling down, has definitely shifted after my trip to Tanzania. I have built relationships with people who have common interests and dreams for the future, and I’m excited to see where that leads as well. Overall, my education abroad program gave me new and improved outlooks on life and exposed me to how little I really know and how out-of-touch with reality our society can be.

Although I’ve struggled more than I expected with culture shock returning to America, at first internally criticizing the people around me and American society, I’ve adjusted my mindset and have new views on so many things. Like I said, the future looks pretty good in my head right now, and I can’t wait to put what I’ve learned into action in my life.

P.S. If you’ve read this, or any of my blogs throughout my program, I hope you’ve enjoyed them and I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to read them.