“Now that we’re friends, you’re fired.” — My Boss

Probably not something you want to hear from your boss. Especially after you secretly video her on Snapchat singing Karaoke for the world to see. Fortunately, she was only joking (I think.)

However, there’s a lesson to be learned here. The word “fired” is gut-wrenching to hear. But often people my age assume they will never hear the words “you’re fired” (not a nod to Trump’s ‘The Apprentice”). Millennials (stereotypically) can be over confident in their abilities to successfully complete a job. Let’s refer to the American concept that “everyone gets a trophy,” an idea to spare the feelings of children who blatantly suck at something. An idea that provides encouragement while simultaneously surrounding kids in a bubble from reality.

TBH, I’m one of those over-confident millennials. And it’s taken post-graduate internships and jobs to make me realize I’m good at what I do, but I haven’t mastered the art of my profession… Yet.   And I’m willing to bet most my age haven’t, either.

I promise I’m anything but wise. I only just graduated from college myself. However, I’ve faced many moments of stress and panic now that I’m a big kid. From difficult tasks at my job to planning what my next big move is, I’ve realized that the real learning starts after school.

While it’s taken me some time to realize that I’m truly not ‘untouchable’ after years of being spoon fed by teachers, mentors, club advisers and college professors (like many who partake in the US educational system), I’m fortunate to have had some recent wake up calls before reality slapped me in the face, leaving a permanent mark.

The challenge for me (and I’m sure for many millennials) is that I struggle admitting when I make a mistake. Just like the word “fired,” people sometimes also fear the word “mistake.” So I’ll spare you from saying that mistakes are life’s greatest lessons because deep down we all know there is some truth to the phrase. But once you develop the courage to tell your boss or colleagues you’ve made a mistake and need help is when you start your training in mastering your profession. The reality is that you will most likely never hear the words “you’re fired” so long as you make the transparent effort to do a job well done.

Just don’t snapchat your boss singing karaoke.

Fortunately, I still have my job and my boss still considers me a friend.

Still employed,

—NM

*Flight attendant starts speaking in French* “… well great” — Me

How I survived going to Nice without speaking a lick of French is still a miracle to me. From boarding the flight in London to finding our seats for the Carnaval festival, the struggle was all too real. And while I’ve been to countries in the past where the native language is not English, I (clumsily) gracefully cruised through my adventures without a worry of the language barrier.

This trip was a little different. As soon as I sat down in my seat on my flight from London the flight attendant began speaking solely in French. I looked to my friend and met her identical, confused and shocked facial expression.

Well, great.

How did I survive the weekend without speaking French and being surrounded by delicious food, beautiful beaches, beautiful architecture and even more beautiful people? Apart from walking around with a blanket expression on my face to warn people of my lack of language comprehension, I survived because Nice is a place where cultures collide.

Nestled among the mountains of southern France and just minutes from the famous Monte Carlo, Nice is a sight for anything but sore eyes. Something that two student development interns needed after spending months working 65-hour work weeks surrounded by enthusiastic and energetic college students. *insert sleep deprivation here.* Nice was a place where we heard dialects from all over the world — Spanish, German, Chinese and (thank God), English.

Admittedly, I previously never had a desire to go to France because of the number of negative stories I received from friends and colleagues who visited the country. I’m ashamed to admit I was a fool to give in to other’s perceptions of such an amazing country and destination. Such a beautiful place that I can’t put it into words, but rather made a video to document the cities stunning features.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCopZ25hIx8

“My American is showing” — My Colleague

One thing that we warn the students at the study abroad program where I work is to be subtle everywhere they go. We encourage them to make in effort to immerse themselves in the local culture without being stereotyped as American college students known for being loud and obnoxious. (I promise you I have never been that American college student…)

Sure enough, there were moments when I said stupid things. Far too often I found myself saying “sí” instead of “wé,” or “hello” instead of “bonjour.” Even ordering at Big Mac at McDonalds was a challenge. (Also, yes — We were those Americans who went to McDonalds. Twice).

The response I received from the locals was always the same. A little chuckle at my flub, a slight nod, followed by them resorting to speaking English. So this blog is an opportunity for me to thank the people of Nice of being so nice (I had to say it at least once, right?) Thank you for sharing your incredible city with me. Thank you for your hospitality. And thank God you all speak English.

—NM

“No, you actually do not spell my name Knowland.” — Me

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“No, you actually do not spell my name Knowland.” — Me

Far too often I receive a cup of coffee from a local coffee shop with my name misspelled. But as an avid fan of caffeine I simply smile and say thank you because my only concern at that point is if the barista remembered to put an extra shot of espresso in my venti skinny Flat White with coconut milk. If they did forget my extra shot of espresso though… (well, that’s a rant for another blog post.)

I digress.

I’m Nolan Miles — A 23-year-old recent college graduate wandering the UK as a media intern in search of my next big move. Whether that be professional dog walking in Sydney, serving coffee at a local shop in Florence or (preferably) working at a global public relations and advertising agency, I’m both #blessed and #stressed for the new adventures and uncertainties that lie ahead.

“#MilesTraveled is my new hashtag” — Also me

I should start by warning any readers that this blog is yet another amidst the millions of others online written by millennials to document their adventures or mediocre life (I’m probably considered a member of the latter.) I should also warn any readers that this blog will probably be filled with millennial lingo, trends and other things that will embarrass me when I look back on it ten years from now.

With that being said, Miles Traveled is a blog about working abroad and any ‘ah-ha” moments and interesting occurrences that happen while traveling the European continent.

Also, yes. I did come up with the hashtag and I’m admittedly very proud of it. #MilesTraveled #blessed #happy #hashtag

“Are you an interior designer?” — The Pinterest followers I don’t have

No, but sometimes I wish I was. I’m a public relations new pro working as the media coordinator for a study abroad program called Harlaxton College. I do have a passion for interior design, but I also have a passion to write and produce digital content. It’s interesting how well writing and a sense of design go together. So don’t be surprised if you also see content about my other passions, like interior design, certain social issues and gummy bears.

Without further ado, please enjoy any future posts from yours truly!

Knowland

JK, Nolan Miles (—NM)