Updated: Mar 27
By Shannon Rizzo | Global Girl Life Founder
When you’re a Global Girl, people recognize it. You live life differently, on the edge. You want to experience new cultures, languages, food and climate. You are interested in meeting different people, expanding your life, mind and spirit. You seek out exciting opportunities that can bring it all together. You know that no matter how good a book is, living your story is much better than reading about someone else’s.
If you’re ready to fly, here are five ways that being a Global Girl will transform you.
People in other countries want to share their culture and lives with you and they are as excited about your arrival as you are. They want to know about America and what your life is like just as you want to know about them. You’ll be amazed at how much you have in common with people from all over the world. That hesitation you’re feeling to start up a conversation with someone in a different place? Get over it! Say “hello” in English or, better yet, try to greet them in their own language. Lifelong friendships begin this way every day.
Being a Global Girl also means that you bring the world to the friends you already have at home. Some of the best souvenirs are the little things you find, regardless of how much they cost, that remind you of someone special. A handmade bracelet, shells from a beach walk, even a stone shaped a certain way can be incredible reminders of your trip. Sharing these small trinkets and the memories that go with them will bring new adventure to your friendships – and maybe encourage your friends to become Global Girls, too!
GG TIP: INCLUDE FRIENDS. Forget the Selfie! Want to make your friends super into you… for reals from afar… be the first to take a photo with a new friend in an exotic location. Talk about being the topic of conversation!
GG TIP: WINNING NEW FRIENDS. Take small packable gifts with you from your city to share with your new friends. In most countries it is customary to bring a gift from your home country when traveling to share your culture with the new people you meet, especially if they are hosting you in some way. These gifts don’t have to be expensive, just creative and heartfelt.
Let’s face it, most of us are confident about our daily lives because we have routines. We take the same route to school, eat the same blah cafeteria food at lunch, practice the same music, do homework for the same classes, etc., etc., etc. We know what we’re doing and we know we can do it. When you travel outside of your country and your comfort zone, everything is new. And that can be a little bit intimidating.
Global Girls, however, aren’t easily intimidated for long. Once you have navigated a menu in a different language or read street signs you don’t understand or been around people speaking a different language than you for hours on end, you will discover a confidence you didn’t know you had. Suddenly, school, homework, your part-time job, your bratty little brother, that nosy girl in the second period, none of that seems hard to deal with anymore. You know that if you can find your way around the shops in a different country, you can find the perfect prom dress without fear or panic. You begin to see that obstacles, big or small, are really just opportunities. And you will have the confidence to make the most of them.
GG TIP: CARRY THE CONFIDENCE. This new outlook is awareness and confidence. Challenge yourself to keep that spirit alive when you return home. Talk to someone new, someone younger, older different than you. Try a new food, or sport or say yes to an activity you might have previously said no to.
So here’s another thing about Global Girls: we don’t sit on the sidelines waiting to be asked to dance. We make our own music! We take chances! We swallow our fear and our pride and leap into life! That sounds exciting, right? Sounds easy? It’s not. The truth is that becoming YOU happens when you say yes to new opportunities that make sense. Traveling abroad, meeting people whose daily lives look nothing like yours will expand your mind, your imagination, your spirit and, yes, your future. If you let it.
Opportunities are all around us every day. You don’t have to leave your couch to think of new and exciting ways to live your life. But you have to leave your couch to actually do any of them. Being a Global Girl means getting off the couch, out of your house, neighborhood, city and state. Opening your mind, heart and senses to the world will create opportunities you never thought possible but it will be up to you to say “Yes!” when they show up. Global Girls welcome the chance to talk about their experiences and share the world as they’ve seen it.
“Travel is an excellent way for students to develop the vital skills like critical thinking and problem solving that will enable them to compete in an increasingly globally interdependent economy.”
GG TIP: SPEND YOUR TIME LOOKING FOR OPEN DOORS, NOT CLOSING WINDOWS. Opportunities are everywhere to make a difference in the world. Find places where you can bloom and grow wherever you land.
Imagine that you’re walking with new friends down a beautiful street in a foreign land. You’re laughing and making jokes despite the fact that you speak different languages. Suddenly you come across a statue that you’re reading about in every history book you’ve studied. You ask your new friend to snap a pic with your phone. Wait, what? You’re handing over your precious phone to a practical stranger? They are going to hold your life in their hands? Well, yes, they are. And then they will hand you theirs in return.
So, that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, I know. It’s just a phone and a picture. As you travel, you will begin to realize that each of these moments are once in a lifetime. Chances are that you will not be in that same spot, with that same person taking that same picture ever again. Suddenly, the newness of each second is important. Standing in the middle of some of the most famous places in history takes on a whole new meaning. Global Girls love that feeling, that adrenaline rush that happens when the magic of the moment is real.
GG TIP: MAKE PLANS, LIVE LIFE. Every great trip begins with a plan, an itinerary, a map of where you want to go and what you want to see. Once you’re there, put the map away and experience it with all your senses – take in the colors, breathe deeply, taste the food. Live like the locals and feel the world!
Design Your Future
Being a Global Girl isn’t a title or simply a lifestyle. It’s a way of being. Global Girls know that every sight they see, every person they meet is etched in their memory, and sometimes their souls, for the rest of their lives. Take the best of what you see and bring it home with you. Make it a part of your daily life and share it with the people you love.
You will see amazing sights but you should also be prepared to see challenges and difficulties that you’ve never imagined. Traveling the world is a life-changing experience not just for the joy but also for the opportunities it can bring to offer healing and companionship to people in every corner of the world.
Today’s world is ripe with opportunities for careers, jobs and businesses that can include people from many different nations. No matter what you see yourself doing, you can build a global team to be a part of it. Traveling will teach you patience, how to adapt to changing circumstances, language skills, the ability to think on your feet, resourcefulness and even kindness. These are skills that are always desperately needed but often in short supply. What begins as fun can turn into an exciting career, whether you build your own business or work for someone else.
“If I would’ve stayed in Germany I probably wouldn’t be so open minded about other countries. So, these few months in Nashville gave me more than I could ever have imagined.” – Debbie Warne, Germany [about her trip from Germany to USA]
GG TIP: It’s easy to focus on all the new things around you when you travel: people, colors, sights and sounds. Remember that you are leaving a part of you wherever you go. Always ask yourself what you could do to help someone in each place. Keep a journal to record everything, good and bad, that you experience. Then find a way to celebrate all the joy and seek to join others in helping to alleviate challenges you see along the way.
When you are a Global Girl you are a leader. You seek out friendships with people from all over the world. You are confident, a difference maker who sees opportunities wherever she goes. You aren’t afraid to try new things and you appreciate differences of people and places everywhere. You are always up for a challenge and want to leave places better than you found them.
Does this sound like you? I thought so, too. Join me and Global Girls everywhere. In your travels you can always reach out to me– I am friend for life and I too have friends all over the world that you can visit when you travel!
Dedicated to the ones I love who have not yet traveled outside of the well-known comfort zone.
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