Spoiler: this is a bit of a personal post!
I can’t believe we leave in a week. While I am so incredibly excited to be taking off and seeing the world I am also very very nervous.
In the grand scheme of things 7 months isn’t that long at all. But for someone who has never been away from home, family, and friends for longer then about 3 weeks, this is a long time! Not to mention that I don’t really know where I am going once I get to a lot of these places or speak the native language. I also happen to be a very structured person – I live off plans, agendas and to-do lists so jumping into a trip with no end date, no planned transportation, and no day plans is a little unsettling.
While I think that this is a really cool trip, it is NOT a vacation. The worries and insecurities above along with the rest of the tragedies and natural disasters that happen in this world make this trip a challenge and a source of anxiety for me. I anticipate that it is going to be hard and really frustrating at times both mentally and physically. This trip will be fun for sure but it is not for pure enjoyment. It is an opportunity for personal growth. One of my best friends, another blonde avid hiker named Isabelle, once told me that if you plateau and aren’t growing, then what is the point? You should always be discovering new things about yourself and pushing yourself in a direction that might be hard but allows you to be forever flowering. How lovely is that?
Things like social media also tend to highlight all the positive aspects of soul-seeking/ personal growth ventures and mask all the mental and physical obstacles that are involved in the process of achieving great outcomes. How often to you see the pictures and statuses about the sweat, strength and time it took to climb a mountain? Not often. You see the pictures of the victory; the pictures of Captain Morgan poses on conquered mountains. This is still great and I think that documenting the wins are important but as good ol’ Miley Cyrus says, its also about ‘the climb’ and the process that took place while you were getting to the top. Enough cliches for today?
The point that I am trying to make here I suppose is that this trip isn’t just a holiday or a transition period before I find a career. This will be my full time job for the next seven months; improving me and discovering where my comfort zone really is so I can push myself just a little further outside it every day. And like any job that takes work. Its not as my travel partner Rachy says ‘all about perky sandy bums’ . While I plan on posting pictures and blog entries of the milestones and achievements I accomplish along the way I really want to be honest about my expectations for this trip and the challenges that I am both scared and excited to face.
Countdown is on! Athens we will see you in 7 sleeps.