SATM: Study Abroad Taught Me

As I continue through the transition back home, I understand more everyday the value of friendship, family and opportunity.

Me in Central Park in New York City, NY

Everyday, I will attempt to create a professional, articulate, hilarious and modern take on my day of thought or action. Inspired by Casey Neistat who created a vlog everyday for 450 straight days. I will call it: 365MeThoughts

To find the acronyms that are at the top, go to my Instagram page everyday and see what the images are and see if you can figure it out…


My first day in university today. Back to lectures in over-heated classrooms. I understand London is cold and gloomy but if I wanted a sauna for a classroom, I would’ve asked. Sometimes I feel working in very hot and humid environments can make me sleepy. Unfortunately for me, the lecturer assumed that role before the heat could get to me.

Today, I promised my parents I would cook a meal for them. I cooked on a few occasions on my study abroad. I always cooked the same meal. It’s all I knew how to make without burning the whole apartment down. Although, having said that, I nearly did that anyway. The microwave may have caught on fire (mildly) when I put, what I thought was a microwaveable container, in the microwave. Turns out, I forgot foil doesn’t go in there. I saved the day when I saw the mini fire — after that I stuck to the stove and oven.

Albany Park Railway Station in Kent, UK

Before the catastrophe began later today, I was at university of course. Above is the train station where I start all my journeys. My family lives in a commuter town located in South East London. Suburbia is a good life, it’s quiet but the roads can become very congested. My usual route consists of Albany Park- London Cannon Street (walk to Bank)- Bank- Mile End. In a straight line, as the crow flies, that’s 13 miles. It takes 1hr 10 mins- 1hr 45 mins, depending on how unlucky I get. Today, the train was delayed so it was somewhere in between that threshold.

I was reunited with some old friends prior to the lecture starting and it was nice to converse in person than over text. This is something I was really bad at. I blame the time zones but it was genuinely the workload and my tight schedule. I would leave my home at 10am and return at 2am the following day. With all that in the past, I can’t wait to hang out and talk with these great people again.

Chicken, herbs and oil in a frying pan

Now we get to the drama. I can cook. I swear. But I never know how I make anything. I rarely follow a recipe. My secret really lies in just believing and relying on my gut reaction. Smelling the spices and herbs and seeing what matched the dish already is how I develop flavour. I learned that following the gut instinct is often the best thing to do in all situations— especially when you have anyone trusted around to ask for advice. It’s a skill that will lead to really bad decisions, amazingly ingenious innovations but mostly you’ll learn about yourself. I challenge yourself to try this for one week and see if you end up with a better life perspective or your head stuck in a rabbit hole.

Final product with Garlic Bread (chicken pasta)

I created a chicken pasta dish with homemade tomato sauce. I didn’t grow the tomatoes but I didn’t just use a packet for the sauce. I managed to use some out-of-date cheese in the dish which gave it an unusual tang (don’t think my parents noticed), so that was an interesting addition on my taste pallete. Apart from that, the kitchen is still in one piece and the house is intact so I would call it a resounding success.

Study abroad made me crave home-cooked food and that’s why study abroad taught me about appreciation and value. My time abroad will never be reciprocated but while I hold those memories dear, the ‘day one’ people (family and friends) will always be there. This dinner was to show my appreciation in culinary form for my parents and how my life has been facilitated by them both.

All that’s left to say, looking at the picture above…

“Get yourself a man who can do both”

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, PLEASE BE SURE TO FOLLOW ME ON MEDIUM AND WRITE A COMMENT TO TELL ME HOW I CAN IMPROVE.

FOLLOW MY FACEBOOK PAGE:

ACRONYMS RELATED TO THIS POST FOUND ON MY INSTAGRAM:

FINALLY, SHARE AROUND AND SPREAD THE 365METHOUGHTS THREAD.

Like what you read? Give Danial Naqvi a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.