This week marks 8 years since I studied abroad in Mexico. Timehop so lovingly informed me of the statuses I posted about my homecoming after a year away and the roller coaster of emotions that I broadcasted on Facebook because, hello, I was a teenager.
It got me thinking though, about how that was what really got me started with being comfortable traveling alone and made me so much more confident in myself. At 16 and didn’t know a whole lot of anything, but I knew more about myself then and had more confidence than ever. This was before a lot of insecurities about the future had set in (college? five year plans? marriage? TEN year plans?) and my only real focus was getting through high school, spending time with friends, and figuring out what it all meant.
After my year abroad, a year has hardly gone by that my passport hasn’t gotten some use. And I am so grateful and so blessed to have had so many opportunities and people in my corner helping me make so many travel dreams a reality. Thanks Mom and Dad, you guys especially! These past couple of years, though I’ve largely stayed in the States, a couple cross-country moves had taken place, I’ve started and quit perfectly good jobs because another city and another opportunity called out to me. That need for newness and adventure never left.
This week, after reliving the days of my international travels through pictures and talking to a few friends from those days, I couldn’t help but realize that I’m not exactly about to move to another country any time soon. But what happened to the girl who was always scheduled on some kind of adventure? When did I become so… normal? Which brings me to a change in mindset.
This whole life is a journey to be explored, regardless of where I am. It may be in the United States, but my goodness does it feel like a different world sometimes. This is still where I feel called to be, and I still feel like I am making a difference here for others, and I know I’m growing and helping myself. My point being, just because I’m not on living abroad or jaunting around now doesn’t mean my life and what I are doing is any less- any less worthy or important or valuable.
And this goes for anyone who may be wistfully reading travel blogs or wishing that that life was your own. Where you are right now is important too. Normal isn’t boring or bad. And really, there’s something different, exciting, and completely not-normal in each of our lives that keeps us all going. This life is so good, right here, every day.
This isn’t to say that I’m done traveling. I’m still breaking out my passport later this summer and plan to more next summer, but where I am right this minute is perfectly great too.
What do you think? What adventure are you on right now? Every day life is pretty cool, isn’t it?