For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with travel, language, and culture. I’ve always been eager to see new places and experience new things. My true travel journey began when I went to Germany for spring break my freshman year of college. Once I stepped off that plane in Frankfurt, I felt so free and so at home. A year and a half later I was on my way to Spain for a semester abroad, and soon enough I found myself in Costa Rica and then finally Italy. I felt nothing could get in the way of fulfilling my wanderlust… well, oh wait. Nothing except for school, jobs, and you know, life.
I’m the type of person that spends my spare time researching and planning hypothetical travel adventures for the future, just in case. I had always dreamed of backpacking Europe after college, but when I decided I wanted to go to grad school, at the time I chose to put off travel and continue my education immediately rather than waiting. While I don’t fully regret my decision, I do know that if I could do it over I would have taken that gap year. After grad school, I landed a job, and I told myself that was yet another reason to put off my travel dreams.
Wait… what? The person I know myself to be would never allow such things to stand in her way. What happened to the girl full of dreams and wanderlust, the girl that daydreams about countries faraway, the girl whose heart wanted nothing more than to travel the world? I then realized these things would only turn into obstacles if I let it them.
So that’s when it occurred to me… Why not just go for it? Despite wanting a career, and being married, and all those things that society says “ties you down”, why not just go against the grain and do it anyway? I don’t currently have any children, my husband is more than supportive of this dream of mine, and I know I could take vacation time, so in theory, there’s nothing holding me back. This is something I know I’ll regret if I never get the chance to do it. I may have passed up the opportunity to go abroad long-term (at least until retirement), but going on a 3 to 4 week adventure is definitely still a possibility. While dreaming is wonderful, I can’t settle for passivity any longer. I need to finally turn those dreams into a reality. So, for the first time I’ll officially say it: In September of 2016. I’m finally going to fulfill my dream of backpacking through Europe. This is the beginning of many new adventures. My dream is alive again.