Two carry ons.
Going home was bittersweet. While I love my town and had wonderful people to go back to, there was still so much to see. I didn’t want to go, and certainly not alone. I was still just me. Going back home felt like giving up.
Of course I was happy to see my family again. Do you know how much I missed my cat?!
Sometimes leaving home is hard. Sometimes going back is too.
But I’ve learned so much and now I know I can do it. I can get on a plane to the other side of the world. I can even do it by myself.
Someone told me- “It’s a beautiful and hard thing to leave your heart shattered all over the world. But worth it.” And she was absolutely right. Sometimes you are vulnerable and scared and you have to get on that plane anyway. Sometimes you’re going to a place you’ve never been before, and sometimes you’re going back to where you started. Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be and I was meant to find myself in every moment this trip brought me on.
If I learned anything in the period of that six months it’s that everything happens for a reason. Timing is everything.
That, and people are kind.
Humans are just trying their best, I am no exception. I came home broke and lonely (but luckily, also to friends and jobs) and I kept trying. I still am. What else is there? Whether you’re in Paris, France or Ventura, California.
All I ever wanted to do my whole life was travel (alright, and be a pirate rockstar). I am so incredibly thankful for everything and everyone who helped make this happen for me. I wouldn’t have left if it weren’t for Jason (heck, I almost didn’t come back because of him). And I will never forget the gift he gave me, the greatest of them all, the courage to do so. To buy a one-way ticket, to hitchhike across countries, to trust people, to sleep under the stars, and finally, to travel alone.
Since we were traveling so long with not very much money we really anticipated to “rough” it more than we ended up doing. If you’ve been following along then you already know that so many people showed us incredible generosity and hospitality. I can feel that kindness inside my chest, warm and bright, and I want to spend the rest of my life sharing it. Just like so many people did for us.
We usually didn’t know where we’d be by the end of the day. Where we ended up went in this order- Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany again, Denmark, Sweden, Norway (then by myself) Ireland, England, Scotland, and France again (with friends from home meeting me at the end).
I’ve appreciated having this blog. Somehow, without it, I may have convinced myself by now that it was all a dream and didn’t actually happen.
I’m truly grateful I had a trip of a lifetime and that I had so much to go back to when it was over.
Coming home has also taught me that you have to find the adventure wherever you are. It’s there. Turns out Wonderland was in my head all along.
I do think everyone should travel. It’s good for you to experience a place that is different from what you know. The world’s a big place, but small enough that it’s not impossible to go out and see some of it. Here’s a little of what I saw during my trip, some of the very best moments of my whole life.
Thank you for letting me share it with you.