By Sara Wiseman
I love my father. It’s not a secret. Bryan K. Wiseman is the man, the dude, the legend. He’s inspired me to travel, to explore, to ask questions and to give people a chance.
Here are a few things my dad has taught me that have helped me abroad.
1. “Hey, quit being an idiot.”
This is a big one. Being an idiot can get you into a lot of trouble when you’re abroad. Bryan has taught me that sometimes the key is to observe, realize that you are a foreigner and that you don’t particularly want to spend the night in a Czech or Italian prison cell.
Using your common sense as a student abroad can really save you from a pickle. Just take the time to figure things (like foreign transportation) out. I’m also reminded that being abroad can make students want to try new and crazy stuff and that they probably shouldn’t. If you wouldn’t get a tattoo of a camel in Michigan, why would you do it in Morocco?
Not being an idiot has gotten me far in life abroad.
2. “You got this, kid.”
A key element to not being an idiot is self-confidence. Bryan Keith is a confident man who taught me that I’m capable of more than I think. Abroad, students can figure out the transport, they can learn a city and a language and discover a culture if they believe in themselves.
All confidence in yourself takes is a few minutes to realize that if you don’t give up, you can accomplish anything. Well, almost anything. We all know I’m not capable of becoming a UFC fighter. But, the point is that sometimes it’s dads that give the extra push. The extra push to know you can do better at the next soccer game or navigating the next big city.
3. “Cut the ‘tude.”
Also a very important gem of information. While all of these Bryan quotes deserve to be made into plaques or embossed, this one particularly does.
Sometimes living abroad can have Americans missing the little things like dishwashers or dryers or Starbucks and may lead to a negative attitude. A party pooper, if you will.
This is a mistake, students living abroad with a negative attitude are missing out. My dad taught me that if you ever start to feel pissy look around, cut the ‘tude and realize how incredibly lucky you are.
This has definitely helped me appreciate my time abroad whenever I get homesick.
4. “Do you wanna beer?”
Bryan is a connoisseur of a few things: meats, cheeses and brews. He also enjoys a good time and good company.
Living abroad can be hectic but the key is to slow down and enjoy the people you’re with and the places you are in. Don’t let work or school overshadow your awesome situation. My father has taught me that no matter how stressful things get sometimes the key is just to relax, get together with friends and have a great time.
5. “That’s pretty neat.”
Once again, the realization that the world is awesome can get you far in your life abroad. Whether it’s taking the time to hike to Michelangelo to check out the view of Florence or really feeling the worn cobblestone of Rome, there’s always time to appreciate.
Bryan Keith always takes a second to check out his surroundings and realize that, hey, this is pretty neat.
If this list has taught you anything it’s that I love my dad, you can learn a lot from him and he’s pretty much the Dalai Lama with a mustache and a degree in bad-assery.
Happy Father’s Day!