You know the feeling when you open the door on a cold day. That burst of fresh and icy air just hits you. No matter if you mentally prepare for it every time, it just happens. It sends a chill down your spine, but with that chill it makes you feel alive. It awakens you and makes you more aware of your environment.
I know tomorrow, when I depart the USA and head to Paris, it will be like opening that door on a cold day. I have mentally prepared myself, have expectations set, and know no matter how much I have planned, things will just go differently. It will be terrifying, but beyond exciting at the same time. I will become more heightened about my environment and aware of my surroundings. I am ready for that chill to hit me, to be culturally awakened, and feel so alive.
When I think a about what is so different about going to Europe, it is not the fact that I will be independent, that is something I have always entailed. I believe the word is liberated.
Obviously, America is the Land of the Free. We have individual liberties and I grew up in a very open-minded household that allowed me to be an independent thinker and doer. The ability to have no extra-circular activities, work, or long to-do list to tie me down, is what is so liberating. The only “to-do list” I will have outside of academics is what “to-do” in Paris, Rome, Santorini, London, Vienna, Barcelona etc.
I can wake-up on a Friday and say, “Hmm, What country should I visit today?” The vast systems of mass transportation and plethora of attractive cities, allows Europe to be a liberating experience.
Immersing myself in other cultures, learning their history, tasting their food, and trying their language are all elements of travel that excite me. I love learning about different places, people, and cultures. I look forward to sharing all my adventures and new experiences with you. I hope the words and pictures of my adventure through Europe, over the next four months, gives you that sense of liberation that I feel.
The bags are packed, most good-byes have been made, I am hydrated and well rested. Is is not au revoir America, but à bientôt (It is not good-bye, but see you soon).
GAME ON WORLD.