So today was the day my friend Brittany and I turned in our deposits for our Fall 2013 Europe trip. We are going to Europe with the Bethel University Communications Department. I couldn’t be more excited! This really is going to be the trip of a lifetime and I still can’t even begin to process that I’m actually going. I don’t think it has really hit me yet, that in 9 months I will be leaving for 3 months… traveling all across Europe, thousands of miles away from home on a completely different continent, traveling through countries and seeing things I have only ever read about.
I am beyond overwhelmed with emotions; excitement, trepidation, fear, happiness, shock. I am looking forward to a beautiful adventure but I fear what this opportunity entails, where this journey will take me and how I will deal with it, or handle myself through it. I know I’m capable of things beyond my comprehension, as all humans are, but only when I am tested do I surprise myself. Therefore, I fear what I will encounter and what I will have to overcome. I already fear the separation anxiety from my parents, family and friends. I also find myself dreading the impending homesickness from the only place I can call home. I have never been away from the state of Minnesota for longer than two weeks without my family and the first time that happened was this past summer for a Youth In Government trip to North Carolina and Washington D.C. I just cannot comprehend missing Thanksgiving for the first time, I have spent the last 18 Thanksgivings with my entire family. Next year, they will have it without me and I will be somewhere in Europe hopefully experiencing things that will develop me into the person I’ve always wanted to become.
I want so much out of this trip, I almost fear I won’t receive what I hope for but at the same time I’ve always understood that no experience can be qualified as useless, every opportunity I encounter can be used as a chance to grow and subsequently reflect. Reflection is a process I value highly, especially in written form. I use experiences to grow in my understanding of myself and the world around me and this experience will be no different from the others along my journey, just magnified. Whether it is bad or good, I will receive some insight into myself and that is all I’ve ever really been seeking, more insight.