Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Notes from Abroad: How an astrology meme predicted my future

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Translated from Catalan, this wall says, “We want to be alive and free.” The wall is covered in paintings of birds that symbolize women’s rights and freedom, painted by young girls in Barcelona.
Photo by Molley Phegley

I think we all know that sometimes the astrology memes and weirdly detailed descriptions of zodiac signs can be a little far reaching at times, but 14 year old me would strongly disagree.

When I first started discovering astrology, I was so delighted with the characteristics and behaviors of my sign, the Sagittarius, because I felt I really could relate. One of the most consistent descriptions of Sagittarius is that we love to travel.

The summer before high school started, I remember seeing a post on an astrology Instagram account that gave future predictions for each sign, and under Sagittarius it said, “Study abroad in Spain and travel Europe.”

Now I’m not one to conspiricize, but I’d say that sure is one weird coincidence.

I’ve dreamed of traveling Europe for many years, and now it’s as close away as a $25 flight. Within the past few weeks, I traveled to Valencia, Spain for the Las Fallas Festival. There, the people of Valencia build beautiful art sculptures and unironically burn them all down at the end of the week. I also visited Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal and made a pitstop in Madrid, Spain on the way back.

The memories I made and the people I met on those trips were nothing short of special. Feeling immersed in a different culture through celebration and art is an eye-opening experience. You see that there is so much more to life than what we are exposed to and desensitized to on a daily basis.

Through recent travel, I’ve learned that human connection is beyond language. You can still laugh and experience life’s treasures with others without speaking the same language. There are so many things to enjoy together, such as music, food and views.

Not only are these opportunities of travel good for the soul, but also inspiring creativity. A common theme in Europe is that the people here prioritize the siesta and fiesta. Wherever you travel, you see people who truly enjoy themselves and make time for relaxing. There is much less stress and emphasis on working constantly.

The people here have so much more time for hobbies and creative outlets. You walk down a street in a big city and see detailed graffiti, hear people playing the most beautiful tunes on instruments and see artists selling their newest pieces. This inspires me to make more time for creating.

I believe that traveling is important to helping solidify identity and purpose. I feel that this experience has really helped me understand who I am and what I want to do. I feel like I have more power over what I can do with my life, rather than just following a step-by-step guide of how one is “supposed” to go about life and career.

Maybe my studying abroad in Spain was due to the magic of abnormally specific zodiac memes, or maybe it’s the seed that was planted in my mind years ago after reading that meme. Either way, taking the opportunity to study abroad has benefited me in ways that I don’t even know the full extent of yet and am continuing to be surprised by each day.