There’s a lesson in everything—you’ve heard this before from your parents, their parents or some motivational quote you saw on Pinterest. Every moment in our lives—every experience reveals something about you, someone else, or the world. My solo trip to Europe taught me things. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what those things were the moment I returned to the states—I blame it on the jet lag. But now that my brain has settled down from the nervousness, apprehension, excitement and the list of other adrenaline induced emotions that come with trying something new, I’m able to articulate clearly a few things I’ve discovered:
- People are good– I worried a lot about if I would meet nice people during my journey to Spain. It turned out—I met a ton of nice people. Despite what we see on the news every day, most people are not out to hurt or rob you—and sometimes, speaking to strangers isn’t as bad as our parents and kindergarten teachers warned. A simple gesture such as saying “Hi” to your bunk mate in a hostel goes a long way and can result in the beginning of a new friendship. I don’t know how you feel about Drake, but I say YES to new friends.
- I’m not that impatient-There were times when the language barrier proved to be a little challenging—specifically when I needed directions on how to use the metro. But, I didn’t freak out as bad as I thought I would. Even when I came close to missing my bus back to Madrid—I only almost cried a little bit on the inside. I’m actually really proud of myself!
- I’m much more into architecture than paintings– Madrid and Barcelona both have some amazing art, but I’d much prefer gazing at buildings and sculptures rather than paintings. I respect all forms of art work but architecture just holds my interest better. I blame it on Gaudi.
- I love people, but sometimes I just like doing my own thing– Sometimes I just don’t feel like keeping up with anyone else’s agenda on a trip. I’m so happy I didn’t have to really worry about that this time. I got to go at the pace that felt right for me. If I didn’t want to do something—I didn’t have to. The best part is—I didn’t have to explain myself either.
- I now prefer long haul flights vs. short– This is weird and I will have to take another super long flight to make sure this is 100% accurate, but I was more relaxed on the 9-hour flight to Paris than I am on a thirty minute flight to Dallas! I guess because shorter flights always seem to take longer and I just get impatient. With longer journeys, you know you are going to be in the air for a while—so there’s no point in complaining. I think it also helped that I had plenty of movies to watch, music to listen to and pretty good meals—with free wine!
- Getting lost is cool– There’s just something about being in an unfamiliar place and finding amazing things while trying to get to a particular destination. Sometimes it’s okay to take a wrong turn to discover something you weren’t expecting…
What have you learned about yourself during a recent trip that you took?