Study Abroad 2007

Hi Everyone!


Welcome again to Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. Based off of my book Thirty Days to Thirty, a fiction novel that is a fun light hearted or vacation/beach read about a girl accomplishing her bucket list before her 30th birthday.


Although it’s a chick lit, it’s also about self discovery and personal development that is meant to inspire people like me who are almost 30 and want to accomplish those bucket list items that they have been meaning to get to, but tend to let fall to the wayside.


This blog is about my bucket list items that I am accomplishing before I turn 30. I hope they inspire you to do the same!

So my first big adventure I would say was when I made the decision to study abroad in London. I went really not knowing anyone else from our group except one of my sorority sisters. This picture is of the whole group that came from my college.

I was excited, anxious, nervous, almost any emotion you could think of. It’s funny how I look back on that time and I think to myself how it was one of the best decisions of my life, yet at the time I was worried it could’ve been the worse.

When I first made the decision to go, I knew it was great a opportunity to see the world, but was it worth seeing the world when you were seeing it by yourself? I remember every time I saw something that blew my mind the first thing I would think was, I wish there was a loved one that I could really share this experience with, who would recognize how special this was, if not to them, then to me.

At the time I had been with my boyfriend for four years and believe it or not he was the one that inspired me to go. He went his sophomore year of college and when I went to visit him, I saw how great it really was. The whole time was so surreal, the two of us in a foreign country for the first time, everything we wanted to do we did and it just seemed like I was in a dream.

So even though him and I had already did the long distance thing before, there was still some anxiety that just because it worked the first time didn’t mean that it would work again. We were different people now. He was wrapping up his senior year getting ready for the real world and I was a junior.

Oddly enough, even though we went to different schools, I somehow ended up staying in not only the same college in London, but my room was next to his old one. Needless to say when he came to visit me if he went to use the bathroom in the middle of the night he would find himself trying to break into his old room. I had given my neighbors the heads up beforehand that might occur.

So again, not to be the typical girl sad to leave her boyfriend, but I knew he was the one and I didn’t want anything to screw that up. What I learned was this was a great opportunity for my relationship. I realized that you will always be changing and growing in life. The person you want to spend your life with, should be able to grow with you as well.  Going through challenges with them, especially early on, is a great way to see how both of you handle certain situations. We both always communicated with one another, even if something seemed like a mild form of jealousy, better to talk about it than let it fester and turn into something bigger than it was.

As great as that lesson was, it wasn’t the only one. I really was forced into independence. Everything from booking my own trips, to learning to be comfortable with sitting in a café by myself. Before that trip I used to eat in my dorm room if I didn’t have anyone to eat with at the dining hall. I was so worried about what people thought all the time. That trip made me think for once about myself and what I wanted.

I also learned a great sense of responsibility. As a girl in a big world on her own, you realize that you don’t have your boyfriend, parents or your trusted group of friends to keep an eye out on you. So when you go out, and drinking is when you’re most vulnerable, you need to be aware of your surroundings. This was before the movie Taken had come out, but I can guarantee that my mom would’ve freaked about me leaving had it been after. Luckily between developing that sense of awareness and the British pound was double the American dollar, I would only drink one $18 cocktail a night.

The biggest lesson I got from that time was my appreciation for the little things. There was one time that I got a call from my Dad’s phone when I was in Germany. At home it was four o’clock in the morning so I immediately called him back. Turned out it was my girlfriend. Her parents and my parents are best friends and she was calling me because she had been home for the weekend studying for a final and had offered to drive her parents and mine from dinner. This turned into an after party at my parents house and she was calling to bitch to me about it. As stupid as that was, I found myself irrationally upset that I wasn’t there.  Here I was in Germany and yet I wanted to be sleeping on the couch with her waiting for our parents to wake us up when they wanted to leave. If it didn’t come off already, my parents are party animals and can drink me under the table any day.

But the general idea is that you realize how much you take for grant it and just how valuable the simplest things in life are.

So my first big decision made for a lot of life lessons that helped me grow and become more cultured. Since then, I’ve had the travel bug and jump at every opportunity I can to go somewhere new.

Even better now that I can afford to stay in places a bit nicer than a hostel with twenty other people and one bathroom!



Thank you for reading this entry of Courtney Psak’s 30 days to 30 blog. I hope this inspires you with your own bucket list to accomplish as much as you can before your 30th or even before your next birthday!


Remember be sure to check out Thirty Days to Thirty if you are looking for a fiction chick lit novel that is a fun, light, vacation or beach read.

Buy Thirty Days to Thirty Here





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