When I was in high school, my sister went on a two-week trip to Europe with a group of friends and a couple of our teachers.
I didn’t go. I had a dance recital. And I felt like that should be my priority.
When I was in college, I could’ve spent a semester abroad.
I didn’t even consider it because I was a musical theatre major and I felt like I should stay in New York in case opportunities presented themselves.
And the trend continued as I barely left the city after graduation. I thought I should be available for my career.
That was my way of life for a long time.
But then one day some friends told me they were buying tickets to Thailand. I normally wouldn’t have even considered it. But I actually really wanted to go. And for the first time, I acknowledged that to myself. I wanted to go. I thought I should stay, but I wanted to go.
So I went.
And it was amazing. I felt alive. I was completely outside my comfort zone but I felt more like myself than I had in years.
It reminded me of something someone I really trust had told me a few years earlier. She told me that I needed to travel alone. She said it would show me who I am and who I want to be in the world.
In this one week with this one choice I discovered that I am an adventurer. I realized how badly I want to see everything and feel everything and that this need is a huge part of who I am. I started to notice how easy going I can be. I felt my sense of humor reemerge and I became instantly more comfortable in my own skin.
I now crave travel. I love my home and the stability of my daily life, but after a certain amount of time passes, I start thirsting for my next trip. And I have incorporated all that I’ve discovered on these trips into who I am.
I am in Africa right now. I am seeing things I’ve never seen before, doing things I couldn’t even dream of doing, and I can’t wait to see how much more of myself I become.
Because the thing is, now is all we have. I don’t know about you, but I won’t miss any more opportunities. I won’t wait. I won’t say no because of perceived obligations. I will be where the adventure is whenever I can. Of course there’s balance; we are all overwhelmed with real life concerns. But as far as I’m concerned, when we can, we should let ourselves do what we want to do not what we’ve been told we should do. We should let ourselves dream and do and adventure and see what’s out there. I don’t want to know where I would be without it!