Today, I finally depart from San Francisco and hop the pond to Europe. The last time I was this nervous was for my black belt test (oh ya, I have a black belt in karate by the way), but this is a different kind of nervous… For my black belt, I was terrified because I knew what was coming. But for Spain, I have no idea what to expect. I don’t know what living in a busy city will be like, and I’ve never had to commute to school before or even use public transportation to get around everyday. I also have no idea how to work the european travel sites, so if I want to leave the country I’m going to need serious help.
Even with all of my anxiety and stress going into this, I know that the experience will challenge me and change me for the better in ways I can’t imagine. Also my fear of the unknown is probably the best kind of fear to have, right? Because I can decide how to get over the fear, whether that be getting on a train and seeing the world, or sitting at home watching Across the Universe for the billionth time. Time keeps moving, and I get to decide what my future holds.
My dad described it perfectly; after we bought a new backpacking backpack, he told me to think of the possibilities and to think of that moment. I will always have the memory of walking out of REI clutching that backpack like a kid on Christmas morning, and hopefully in 10 years I will have the complementary memories of my crazy travels to compare. We have to make the most of the opportunities we get, and try not to let fear get in the way.
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!