My upcoming trip to Europe is the first time that I will be traveling alone. Like, actually alone. As I’ve mentioned in one of my posts, the only time I’ve ever really traveled “alone” was with a tour guide when I ditched my friends in Vegas for the day and went to the Grand Canyon.
This time, I’ll be traveling alone for 10 weeks. I’m going to be with friends for maybe 1.5 weeks of it (cumulatively throughout the trip), but for the remaining 8.5 weeks.. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Will I love it? Hate it? Will I feel what it’s like to be homesick – for the first time in my life?
This year has been so full of first times. The first time I realized (really realized) how unimportant grades are in the grand scheme of things. The first time I went through an entire school term without crying over studying or exams! The first time feeling what it’s like to miss someone.. even before they were gone. The first time crying over goodbyes.
When a close friend left for Korea, it felt so strange. I felt as though I had taken for granted that we’ve been attending the same university and randomly bumping into each other (whether we’re in Toronto or in Waterloo haha). I will never just bump into her again. This is the age where we really have to start making effort to see the people who matter to us, and decide who’s worth keeping in touch with and who isn’t. And it sucks. I hate making decisions. I’m very much a go with the flow type of person. Of course, I can still live that way; but not to the same extent as I have always been.
This 10 week trip will be my first real solo trip somewhere, my first birthday spent alone, my first time exploring Europe, and my first time doing something for myself – with the main goal not being to further my academic or professional life. I can eat whatever I want, go wherever I want, and do whatever I want with no real consequence following me. Whatever mistakes I make will stay there – unless I decide to share the knowledge of that mistake with someone that is permanent to my life. I don’t have to take anyone else’s food or adventure preferences into consideration! It’s like going shopping alone for the first time, except that the “mall” is a much larger and unfamiliar place.
There is just so. much. uncertainty. I am terrified.
But this year has been all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
So. I am a ball of lots of extreme emotions. I am excited and anxious and overwhelmed… and I’m not even going to be on the plane for another 1.5 weeks. How will I feel when I am walking into the airport? Boarding a flight by myself to a place I’ve never been? Walking into my first Couchsurfing experience? My first hostel? Walking into a bar and mustering up the courage to at least make eye contact with strangers instead of looking at the floor. Haha, maybe I will just wear sunglasses all day every day. 😛
At least London, UK speaks English… so I will be somewhat easing myself into all of it, right?