Twice a week, I go to a local game store nearby to play trading card games, and through this hobby, I’ve been able to take better care of myself mentally and emotionally. I picked this hobby up at the beginning of university on the recommendation of one of my roommates, and I can honestly say that having somewhere twice a week where I get to relax with a bunch of people with similar interests is a great way to unwind. The social aspect of it is one of the main appeals for me; it is a great way to meet people, especially when I had just moved abroad and wanted to make new friends. However, what initially started as something to meet new people and take a break during the week led me to a way to keep my mind sharp and opportunities to travel and set personal goals to chase through competition.

I believe competitive drive is a sign of passion and, in certain amounts, a great way to keep a healthy mind. The act of improving at anything is an amazing feeling, and by competing, I have an outlet to demonstrate the results of my practice and improvements. This past year, I have consistently been placing higher and higher at each event I’ve attended, reaching and exceeding goals I keep setting for myself, and the feeling of achieving them never seems to get old.

In my case, my competitive drive has led me to many great friends, many great trips, and many great results. For the two games I’ve played, I’ve traveled to many cities I’d never planned on visiting in order to compete in large-scale events. These trips are phenomenal experiences, and while the event is absolutely my primary reason for going to these, getting to spend time with friends exploring whichever city we’ve ended up in has been great, and I can’t recommend group travel enough, regardless of the context.