It’s Tuesday night at 11:40pm exactly 7, almost 6 days, until I embark on my big adventure. I am laying here in my crooked bed with my lamp on listening to some chill/study/indie/ can you get more generic playlist off 8tracks and my mind is on endless reel of what, when, and hows. On lists labeled to-do and images of how packing will go and then it jumps to unanswered texts and what restaurant I should pick for that going away dinner I’m not sure should be happening at all.
This isn’t entirely new to me. I’ve traveled before, I’ve experienced the week before an extended amount of time in Europe twice before. I think the difference is not only with study abroad I was travelling with a safety net, but I was also travelling with the label of, STUDY ABROAD. About 53% or some crazy percentage like that, of students from my university study abroad. My year in Europe wasn’t different or special, I mean it was because it was mine. But there was this comfort of knowing I was part of a wider, known net. Now it’s something different.
The twenty-something year old who travels around Europe after college isn’t a new narrative but it is still a fairly risky one. When I share what I am doing I feel as if I see a mix of awe and respect, but also there is this glimmer somewhere underneath the whites of the eyes saying, “Have you gone mad?” These are the type of risks that people don’t really allow themselves to factor in. Now more than ever I feel security is sought after because that is the one thing our world is desperately lacking. With so many random shootings, government shut downs, wars, terrorism, global warming, the list goes on and this state of fear that the government, or the media, or we the public have created is a fabrication as much as it is real. There are parts of the world where gun shots are fired every day, but that wasn’t supposed to be our world… That is what I learned in school anyway. And the comparison still doesn’t hold, but to an extent this idea of crime only happening behind our TV screens is changing. I guess it has been for a while.
I digress. The point is I’m leaving. The point is I have decided to make my actions as loud as my words, to try and make my words my world.
But it is still scary. As I lay here waiting for the next day so I can possibly get some of my bullet points on my list crossed off and get some of my texts answered, I feel like I am holding onto these thing to mask this uncertainty that I cannot yet name.
I am still scared. But if I wasn’t scared it probably wouldn’t be worth doing at all.