During my freshman year in undergraduate university, I went in a study abroad preview to Edinburgh, Scotland.
I enjoyed St. Andrews, the Edinburgh castle, Parliament, Glasgow and Portobello Neighbourhood. My favorite activity was actually a recreation program through the University of Edinburgh called Firbush.
Firbush is a recreation center around the mountains of Perthshire, offering Kayaking, Canoeing, biking, running through the mountains etc… I chose kayaking and Canoeing because I always wanted to do these activities, and never got to.
My instructor, Lars, took his time teaching me how to hold the paddle and how to position my hands to push that water.
Intimidated by how skilled, and fast my peers were moving; I tried to rush this process but was forced to take my time and learn it well so as not to develop injury. Lars was incredibly patient with me.
I was slow at first, but eventually I kayaked in the race and beat everyone who intimidated me. That’s right: slow and steady ended up winning the race (while learning patience). And surprisingly, as uncoordinated as I was, I didn’t fall in the water not once.
It was the same instance in Canoeing, albeit more challenging because it was a bigger boat.
Either way, let my story be a metaphor to show you that once you set out, be patient, and conquer the fear; you are unstoppable.
Let this story inspire you not to be intimidated about travelling to another culture, and you will eventually be better and more well rounded than you have ever been.