Trust, Gratitude, Wonder

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

With my impending departure to France in less than a week (eek!) I have naturally been thinking a lot about what I hope to gain over the course of this experience. While I make goals for my time abroad, I wanted to make something more dynamic, inspiring, and abstract. I definitely have some concrete goals in terms of skills and specific experiences, but there are more things that I want to gain in terms of personal growth and development that cannot be described so precisely.

Therefore, I decided to make my own Study Abroad Manifesto. I was feeling really inspired while I was writing this, so I wanted to share it and make it a focal point on my blog and my overall experience.

I was guided by three main themes, which are trust, gratitude, and wonder. These three words really spoke to me when I was brainstorming for this post, so my manifesto is centered around these basic ideas.

I, Zoe Jade Diaz-McLeese, seek to be an explorer of the world. 

During my travels, I promise to:

Follow my heart, trust myself and my abilities
Accept the unknown, embrace the unfamiliar, and be empowered by my fears
Allow myself to be lost, wander without direction, and make mistakes
Be inspired and awed by my surroundings, beauty, and light of the world
Seek to meet others, learn from them, and be enriched by their stories
Walk... a lot
Nurture a heart full of love, light and gratitude
Collect moments and memories, not possessions
Record my feelings, thoughts, and experiences
Embody a spirit of exploration
Seek new knowledge and ideas
Challenge my perceptions, beliefs, and opinions
Reflect often and honestly
Be present in every moment, allowing myself to experience them through all senses

Trust who I am, and have faith in who I will become
Have gratitude always
Act from a place of wonder.


  1. Wow this is beautiful! I love that you are embracing the wonderful opportunity to study abroad! Following you on Insta Insta so I can see all your fun adventures. Good luck and ENJOY. Drink lots of fancy wine for me.

  2. Love this!! What part of France are you going to study in? So excited for you!! :)

  3. Aww Zoe I love this!! And I think they are good tips to live by always, no matter if you're studying abroad or not :) Have a wonderful time--so glad you're going into the experience with such a good perspective.

    Love, Gigi
    Dolce and Gabriella

  4. I love this manifesto!! It is so inspiring for you to write it!!

  5. Ahhh, have fun in France!! You're gunna love it! It's so smart to make this manifesto, though, because I know a lot of people who feel they didn't get that much out of studying abroad (other than it feeling like a vacation) because they weren't focused on why they were there. Great post!

    1. Thanks Lydia! I've had some friends who have felt the same way when they returned from abroad, and that's definitely not what I want my experience to be like. Thanks for the love!