Europe transformed me. When I was there I was brave, I was adventurous.
Traveling does something to a person. There is something about going to a foreign country, being on your own, seeing, hearing, tasting, experiencing something completely new. It changes you. Maybe not forever, but while you are there you are different.
The past three months I have spent reminiscing on my time backpacking around Europe. I turned 18 while I was there. I was a shy, anxious girl. I barely knew how to branch out of my social group. Europe transformed me. When I was there I was brave, I was adventurous. The world was my school yard and, man, did I feel like the queen. I roamed my terrain with confidence.
I yearn to be tested, to be inspired.
As I read through my blog posts from two years ago, I did not recognize that girl wandering through Europe. A pang in my chest began to form. How I have changed after returning home. I have lost my sense of adventure. The spirit and passion I once possessed has been replaced with fear and anxiety. I have become comfortable with my fast food job and community college. My life has become a continuous following of the motions. I have not been challenged or pushed to reach for anything other than the bare minimum. Yes, I have learned more text book things, and I have roamed the city I live in. But I have not experienced that sense of panic when thrown into a foreign place, having to rely completely on your own common sense and knowledge. I have not been forced to breach my comfort zone. I realized how much I craved that. I yearn to be tested, to be inspired.
I miss the girl. Along with leaving Europe, I left her. I came home and I grew up. That is what you do. You grow up. You leave your childish, carefree ways behind you. You get a job. You go to college. You think about the future, plan a career. And you stress. Somewhere along the way you forget about the little girl who sat in the car and played stories in her head. You forget about the girl who painted pictures with words and dreamed of unseen places. Because according to your society, those things do not get you far. They do not get you a house with a swimming pool and two extra cars with DVD players and wifi installed in them. They do not get you name brand or fancy reservations. They do not give you your earned right to take advantage of your class system. So you leave it behind. You move onto duller and darker things. Life becomes a race and you are in it to win it.
We have forgotten how to be amazed.
We have begun living focused on our end results, just like we travel for our destination. We have forgotten how to be amazed. But what if our destination wasn’t our goal? Instead we travel for the person we become. We travel to experience and to stretch ourselves. Travel to explore what is outside your comfort zone, and see what you can do when you are set free. We travel to enjoy. This is why I travel. I want that girl back, the one who knew how to imagine and dream beyond day to day life. I am tired of living by societies rules. I am dedicated to discovering that girl again, and this time making sure she stays. I want to live a life of adventure and courage. I want to be amazed.
In less than two weeks I will be stepping onto new land, embarking on a new adventure. I consider it a blessing that God has lead me to Australia, and provide the funds for me to get there. I have found my passion in the Lord and he has blessed me. This will be my greatest journey yet!