Why I Decided to Travel the World Instead of Growing Up
Allow me to introduce myself. I am 24 years old, I hold a Master’s degree in Leadership, I have been with my fiance for nearly six years now, and I have a fur child named Dash. And despite the fact that all signs point to “settle the hell down,” I am choosing to see this wonderful, beautiful world. I am deviating from the classic American dream and choosing to move to Ireland and travel the world.
Choosing to See the World Instead of Settling Down
Given where I’m at in life, moving to Ireland is not the conventional choice. I know that. I have been told that. Many times. And yet.
And yet, I’m going.
My obsession with travel began in 2013 when I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria. Not a day goes by where I don’t reminisce about those days even though it was over 3 years ago now. Something about the experience of being submerged in another culture completely sucked me in and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since.
The world is big and beautiful and I can’t imagine not seeing it. There are intriguing languages, delicious food, dazzling sights, lovely people, and unforgettable memories just waiting to be discovered in every far-away place with a strange-sounding name and I refuse to let it slip through my fingers.
Nope, I’m Not Running Away from Anything
Now don’t get carried away thinking that I’m running away from my problems. No, I’m not having relationship issues. Leaving my fiance for a year will be one of the hardest parts of this experience. Nope, I’m not avoiding getting a job because I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. When I return, I plan on working in student activities on a college campus. And no, I’m not caught up in a drug ring gone wrong and I’m trying to skip town.
Actually, rather than running away from anything, I am running towards the dream I have been cultivating for so long: the dream I have about being educated by experiences rather than books (although books are great, too). The dream I have about making a positive impact on the world around me. Moving abroad broadens perspectives, opens eyes, and humbles.
It’s Scary as Hell
Real talk: I’m scared. I’m a big fat weenie and anybody who knows me very well will attest to that. I don’t even like to be the first one to walk into a restaurant just in case there’s no sign telling me whether to seat myself or wait for a hostess. I. Am. A. Weenie.
But my fear about taking this giant leap will not scare me away because I won’t let it. I’m moving to Ireland with nothing more than my passport, a suitcase, and a good friend but I’m choosing to see it as one giant adventure. Because, um, IT IS.
So. I’m going. I’m taking a giant leap. And I’m probably going to come home more broke than I was in college. But I will have a full heart, an open mind, and a lifetime of memories.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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