The opportunity to travel is passed up by so many each and everyday. This happens for a few reasons, maybe because of the expensive of travelling or the fear of the unknown in a new place. Traveling changes you. It changes the way you think about yourself, the people in your life and the world around you.
A few months ago, I was a typical 18 year old girl who had just graduated from high school. I went through my graduation ceremony, threw my cap, hugged my parents and had my graduation party. Unlike most typical 18 year old girls, however, I had an interesting summer ahead of me. On June 25, not even a month after graduating, I was going on the trip of a lifetime next to some of my friends. We were going on a 15 day trip to England, France, Switzerland and Italy. I knew it was going to be exciting and help me grow as a person, but I could not even have imagined the things that travelling would teach me and how it would change some of my perspectives.
The trip itself was breathtaking. I was able to see some of the most famous places in the world, including the Eiffel Tower and Vatican City. I was also able to see beautiful landscape in Switzerland and learn about World War II in England. I laughed next to my friends who I will not see for a while, since we are all going our separate ways, ate delicious food and made amazing memories. Travelling did more for me than just give me memories, though. I learned that I can take care of myself even when I am far way from my parents (but that I still need them and always will) and that trust can stretch over oceans, mountains and through cities.
Mom and Dad. Without the two of them, there is no way I would be the person I am today. I know everyone says that, but for each person, it is true. Our parents teach us the things they want to and let us experience what they think we should. My parents have never stopped my adventurous spirit, which would explain why I have broken two bones and have numerous scars from running and playing as a child. Traveling gave me the gift of understanding that I can care for myself, but that I will never stop needing good ol’ Mom and Pop. Being away from my parents taught me that I love them more than I realized. I am thankful that they made it possible for me to fly across the world and experience what I did. Although, I will never be able to say thank you enough for the trip and for everything they do for me each day.
Now, more back story on me- I’m a typical 18 year old girl who is in a relationship with a boy who loves to travel and see the world, just like her. (He also loves coffee shops and long talks, big reasons why I keep him around.) This trip taught me that if trust is strong, you can get through anything with someone. Not seeing or talking to each other for 3 weeks, now that was a challenge. We got through it, just like everything else we’ve been through. It changed our relationship. It made both of us see that we can handle time apart and that, even though being apart is not ideal, we cannot wait for the day when we are together again and get to talk and share stories.
That, is something I love and always will love about this relationship. After all, relationships are about having someone who shares in your joys and helps you through your struggles. Traveling showed me that no distance can change your friendships or relationships if you do not let it.
My advice to anyone even thinking about travelling somewhere, is to make it happen at all costs. These are just two examples of things I learned while I was gone. I also learned how trusting in God and his plan for me is something I need to invest in and that this world is unique and beautiful. Some do not describe this world in a positive light, and that needs to change. Regardless, get out, explore and see how doing so enhances your life, I know that is has enhanced mine.