After an unexpected plot twist set my departure back a day, I was eager to start my journey through Europe and Southeast Asia. My first destination? Paris.
I hadn’t even left home yet, but the world of travel was already teaching me some valuable lessons. C’est la vie.
Lesson #1 — Avoid flying on a budget airline.
Lesson #2 — If ignoring lesson #1, triple check your departure time, especially when the budget airline you are flying on changed the departure time by shifting it forwards almost 12 hours in a cryptic email with departure times listed without AM or PM.
Lesson #3 — When you have missed your budget airline flight to Europe and need to book a last minute flight because no refunds or rescheduling, airline miles are a girl’s best friend.
So, how did it feel to embark on the trip of a lifetime, one that had been several years in the making and had taken countless hours of planning?
It felt a little bit like the nervous excitement on your first day at a new school, not knowing yet who you will meet, who your friends will be or what you will learn or become; mixed with the confused anxiety of just waking up from a nap, not sure where you are or even who you are anymore, but realizing that the next moment is going to take place in a dramatically different reality than the last. Of course I also felt triumphant, and exhilarated and ready for a great adventure.
I was also filled with gratitude for all of the people who had helped me get here; my parents and extended family, friends, coworkers and even total strangers who had shared their wisdom and encouragement along the way.
In the immediate future, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to find my way to the hostel in Paris on public transportation without a working cell phone, and that the evening I arrived would be too short and jet lagged for any of the sightseeing I had planned.
But I was sure that these things would be resolved, and there was no sense in worrying. The four intentions I had set so long ago when I first began planning this trip were fresh in my mind:
to experience the world
Sipping a cafe americano at the airport in Frankfurt, I added a fifth. To reconnect with my authentic self by seeking new experiences and perspectives, igniting a journey that is geographic as well as internal.
Stay tuned for updates from my first day in Paris, coming soon!
P.S. Mom, you were so right. I think I packed too much!