October 4th 2013
I am still in a state of shock and awe that my life has become something so incredible! Week three came and went in a flash, and I still have ten more months ahead of me. Life here is turning out to be a lovely box of chocolates! Every new adventure brings perspective. I mean seriously though I just casually took a four hour train ride–which turned into six because of some technical difficulties–to one of the most well known cities in the world: MILAN! The following few paragraphs are thoughts and reflections I had while on my journey to the Western side of Italy.
As I sit on the train, I am two hours away from the fashion capitol of the world! These solo journeys offer time for thought and reflection and so I am doing just that. I am recalling my first days coming to Italy and getting acclimated within my first weeks. I was all kinds of nervous and excited at the same time…Talk about sensory overload: sprinting through airports to catch all three of my flights, grabbing two buses to get to school…lets just say it was an exhausting 48 hours. I was so anxious to get this solo journey over that I didn’t give myself ample time to reflect on life and the journey I has ahead of me. Now that I am sitting on the train to Milan, I am no longer afraid to travel alone. My fears have all but disappeared. Instead, I am calm and reflective on life, as I take in the coastal scenery leaving Trieste to the rolling countrysides of the interior of Italy. Literally four hours from one tip of the country to the other. Impossible. Amazing.
Though I miss the company of travel companions, I do enjoy this time to myself. You can always find a sense peace and inner calm on those solo journeys.
I think for the first time I have actually fallen in love with life itself. I have fallen in love with breathing in new and exciting experiences. I find myself struck with wonder and awe at each new place I visit and see. I feel like a new born child opening their eyes to the world for the very first time. Everything is so new and interesting.
And on a more personal note: To mom and dad. I finally read your letters to me that you wrote before I left. I am going to go to all of those places before I leave. You better BELIEVE it. Heck maybe you guys can meet me in Dublin for a beer!
And a little advice to all of you contemplating going abroad:
Though the process may seem daunting at times and overwhelming at certain points, and you may think, ‘how could I leave home for such an extended period of time?’….I beg you to reconsider. When you leave it is not a goodbye, but a ‘see you later’. Know that you will change and things at home will change, but no matter the changes, those still important to you will be there when you return. They will miss you and maybe be a little sad, but above all else, they are excited that you made the decision to go abroad. So I say this, if you do decide to go abroad, know you made the best decision ever in your life. Aside from deciding what you are going to have for breakfast this morning.
I’ll leave you with some things to think about:
1. DON’T BE AFRAID OF WHAT THE FUTURE COULD HOLD
2. STOP WITH THE ‘WHAT IF’S’
3. “SHOULD I” OR “SHOULDN’T I ” SHOULD BE ELIMINATED FROM YOUR VOCABULARY
4. REPLACE ‘I CAN’T’ WITH ‘I CAN’
And with that, I leave you because I have a whole country and a whole continent to explore before July 2014!!
Make good decisions and even better mistakes. Always trust your gut, make life how you want it to be and rock every single second of it.