Embracing the Unknown
I’ll never forget planning my first trip abroad. As a gal from a small Midwest town, the thought of purposely choosing to be away from everything familiar seemed almost absurd. On a daily basis, my mind would teeter between options of staying in the comfort zone or exploring the unfamiliar. It was hearing the story of regret from my recently graduated sister which lead me down the path of adventure. She had passed on the opportunity to study abroad during her college years and didn't want me to live with the same feeling. With flights booked and my very first passport purchased, I was officially Australia-bound.
In the weeks leading up to the departure, my stomach was in knots and my head was dizzy with final preparation details. Had I bought the right visa? What if they don’t let me through customs and immigration? Will I survive the dreadful trans-Pacific flight? Though jet-lagged beyond comprehension, my arrival to Sydney was surprisingly smooth; I even successfully navigated public transport for the first time in my entire life (I must admit a few helpful strangers stepped in to assist with my terribly over-packed luggage).
I felt such a sense of accomplishment after spending a full day traveling to the opposite side of the world. All the planning had paid off, and I had done it all on my own. Overcoming this huge hurdle led to a surge of a confidence, and it was one of the first times I really believed in myself without needing someone to do the convincing for me.
I often wonder where I would be today if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith 10 years ago. When faced with the unknown, I think back to this time in my life and remember it as my greatest adventure. I still get those nervous knots in my stomach from time to time, but I know now to embrace the feeling because it just means something bigger than I can explain is about to unfold.