2013 has been a crazy huge year for me, from going to Europe to starting my second year of college. New friends have been made, projects have been started (more on that to come in the next couple days) and I’ve just learned a whole new trove about myself and the world around me. The only regret I have is not doing more or starting things that I knew I was capable of, such as this blog or meeting certain people. Sure I did a lot but as a French friend told me this summer, “Almost is never enough!”, something I still carry with me and smile about every time I think of it.
2014 though will be an equally as big year if not much larger, although I don’t necessarily like to measure my life from year to year, but rather form experience to experience. Years don’t change you, but experience does on the other hand. What I’ve gained from some of my experiences this year goes beyond words but non the less I’ll try to articulate a bit.
The man, or hell even boy I was at the beginning of this year resembles nothing of who I am now. Before planning and going to Europe I’d always wondered what it’d feel like to take care of myself. To truly feel independent and like my fate was in my own hands, and that the consequences that came from me would be on me alone to fix and see what I could do with them. And in going to Europe I actually got to see what that was like. When you’re alone in a completely different country and you have to survive off your knowledge and navigate the streets by yourself and your day is completely yours to do what you will with it is absolutely liberating! Any whim can be followed and any adventure or street can be chased down and explored, it’s magnificent and a beautiful thing to experience and no amount of money can compensate for those feelings. As cheesy and as much of a cliché it sounds like travel is truly one of the best investments you can make, for it really never does stop giving back. Almost half a year after that adventure I still am growing with the friends I’ve made and doors are still opening up for me due to that experience.
But Europe wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park, there was a lot of fear going into it. A lot of my own insecurities got tied up into going over there. I was worried that going alone may be a huge mistake. Not for the safety reasons either, I wasn’t worried about being taken or anything but rather I was worried about being alone and being to awkward to meet people. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to cut loose and be myself around the people I may meet. Or that I may get there and just become lost in an unfamiliar country. It’s funny though how those fears became my greatest accomplishments over there and the things that came easiest to me. When your alone, and you don’t have your phone (because you’re a poor college kid and didn’t want to pay for an international plan) and have limited access to social media to help numb up your mind something funny happens. You become more yourself and don’t have an awkward scapegoat always sitting in your pocket to escape to when your bored. I found myself easily able to talk to whoever I pleased and seemed to make fast friends with everyone. What a feeling that was, and what I considered to be one of my biggest accomplishments over seas, especially while in Ireland where I got to meet the lovely Tsiopani family that quickly became a family away from home, along with all the other interns (helpx people) that were there, some of which have become very close and dear friends to me. Just some a the few perks that come with travel. Other perks I’ll talk about in future posts.
I’ll end 2013 on a somewhat adventurous note though. Today I ventured up Spencer mountain with my Mom and little Sis to take some pictures for an upcoming website that launches tomorrow (www.roundirelandswim.com go check it out tomorrow on the 1st, that’s my next big adventure). The mini excursion was full of laughter, longboarding, mountain climbing, and many a photos taken. ‘Twas a good way to end what has been one of my favorite years to date.
Happy New Years everyone. Stay Classy.