It’s truly amazing to me how many people are content with never leaving. They’re in a constant state of stay.
I am not this way.
I’m currently taking a tourism class, which I obviously love. Being able to explore my wanderlust in a classroom is great. There’s only one problem though… my classmates. None of them have traveled, at least not the way I have. I sit in class every day, frustrated by their ignorance. I have no issue with those who want to travel but don’t have the funding, that I understand and respect completely. But I have zero tolerance of people who believe travel is about going out and shopping.
Those people are missing out.
So few understand the real implications of exploring somewhere new. They don’t recognize the beauty of being in someplace truly unknown. In exploring a new place and exploring who you are in that place. How liberating. Moving to Greece did this to me. I learned who I was as an American, and as an American in Greece. I learned who I was as a woman. I learned who I was as a partner. But mostly I learned who I was as a person of the world. I would never take learning that back.
Had someone given me the opportunity to stay in Greece after I finished my semester there, I would have. Those of you who regularly read my blog know I would have. I would have stayed in love, stayed in a relationship, stayed in a place that made me feel like home. I would have stayed in that home. Thank God I didn’t.
Instead I left. I am a mover. I came back to Iowa, which not so surprisingly is the worst place for me to live. I feel uncomfortable in my skin here. I feel trapped, tied down, suffocated. It’s where my family is though. Where my education lies. So I came back. Had I not come back I wouldn’t have had my heart broken. I wouldn’t have learned an invaluable lesson. I wouldn’t have had the chance to miss Thessaloniki. I wouldn’t have gotten my next great opportunity.
But I didn’t stay.
I came back. I missed Thessaloniki, and still do. I had my heart shattered and I did learn an invaluable lesson. The best part is though, is I got my next great opportunity. I graduate in just 6 short months from now (praise the lord), and I’ll be leaving again. This time for Rennes, France. My future home. I’ll study International Business there. At ESC Rennes. I cannot wait.
There’s a quote I found on Pinterest the other day, yes I love pinterest, go ahead and mock me. But it said this:
I’m told frequently by others that “they don’t know how I do it by myself.” I tell them it’s the only option. Traveling (spelled correctly) alone gave me something that I could never have found with someone else in the experience. I found my spirit. At the same time though, when I returned I was stripped bare. It’s a feeling of having your heart broken. The same ache and hurt. The same longing for those feelings back. But it’s a different kind of love. People ask me if I will ever stop moving and settle down. They ask, “what would happen if you fell in love in _________ (insert place in world)?” I say the same thing every time. If I ever find someone I love as much as I love travel, then I’ll stay. Until then, I owe it to my soul to search for the places that fill my heart. Until love comes, I’ll search for it. And I’ll search in Spain, in Brazil, India, or France. I’ll look high and low for the love that fills my heart like travel does. Until then, there’s no better remedy to being alone than to travel.