Over time you’ve read, heard or imagined how a trip can change you or your life. And some try to go on trips and adventures to find themselves in a time of identity crisis (Eat, Pray, Love anyone?). What you don’t realize or imagine is that every trip, every adventure does change you in either a small way or big way.
While sitting on the plane headed to our England, Ireland, Iceland & Northern Ireland adventure I could only imagine all the things we would get up to and how that could potentially change me. Funny enough, sitting alone on the way back I tried to think about what had happened and if I had in fact changed. At the time I thought I hadn’t, I thought I was the same old Vicky. What I didn’t expect is, after a good night’s sleep I realized just how much I had changed. I felt like a whole new person and that shocked me, because a mere 12 hours before I thought I hadn’t changed. But, honestly, how could I have not? My cousin put it best when she said, “grandpa used to say: when you go on trips you leave a little bit of yourself behind, but you also gain a little bit of each place.” I did that, I left bits of myself in every country, every city, every place I visited. But I also gained so much. I gained new perspectives, new adventures, new friends and new lessons. Let’s talk about a few of the changes I’ve noticed in myself, shall we?
Firstly, my fire has been reignited. When you enter a daily routine, you get bored with life. You actually just get comfortable with it. The people I met and places I saw in this trip, made me realize just how big and amazing this world is and how much it’s just waiting to be explored. The fire within me to travel and explore has now been exploding. So much so, that it causes one to question what you’re actually spending money on, and if it isn’t worth saving the money for more trips. Now, that doesn’t mean don’t live your life, because adventures can be big or small. Just go out there ready for adventures and unexpected happenings. Life is full of adventures, you just need to make sure you’re paying attention.
Secondly, be kind. I like to consider myself a very kind person in nature. But sometimes either I’m too preoccupied with life or too busy and let my frustration get the best of me. While on my trip, everyone we encountered was always so kind and willing to help no matter if they were in a rush or not. It was a nice reminder that your life may be hectic, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a few minutes and help someone out.
Thirdly, I am a very outgoing person who can sometimes turn shy. This trip actually showed me it was okay to be a bit more bold. And to not be afraid to approach strangers and get to know them. You might never see them again, but you’ve now learned about someone else’s life story and that, of course, affects your life even in the smallest of ways.
Fourth, why are we in a rush to get married? The lifestyle over there should serve as an example for us in the US. One of the confusing things we saw was that on a Wednesday pubs were filled. I mean, it’s Wednesday. But here’s the difference, over there people meet up with their friends after work to have a pint, unwind and just have a laugh. They’re not out there to get hammered or pick up someone to take home. They’re just there to meet new people and cultivate their friendships. And in turn that means opportunities to actually meet someone you might want to date. But most importantly people in their 20s aren’t even thinking about marriage, they’re enjoying life. They’re celebrating themselves and enjoying being young before you do make the decision to settle down. And honestly, I think that is so important. No one is in a rush, therefore you don’t feel the pressure to find your significant other.
Fifth. laugh. A LOT. Even if you look crazy or ridiculous, laugh! Liz and I would seriously have at least one laughing fit a day. And now, I miss that a lot. It lightened the mood, it made things more fun and honestly it just felt good.
Sixth, patience. I think I tend to not be happy or freak out when things don’t go as planned, especially in trips. I usually get anxiety if I miss a flight or something of that nature. This trip, as expected, didn’t go as planned. Things happened, we were late, we missed things, we got lost, but in turn we got new adventures and I learned to be okay with that. I don’t think at any point we truly freaked out over something. If something happened we accepted and tried to make the best of the situation. And that made the trip much more pleasant.
And lastly, perhaps the most important lesson of all: work is just work. Some people focus so much on their jobs they forget they even have a life outside of it. Or some people live on their phones because of work. What it comes down to, however, is work is just a job. It’s a way to make money. If you do something you love, that is great! But that is only a part of your life. That isn’t your WHOLE life. Life is about much more than that. It’s about friends, family, traveling, learning, exploring, eating, laughing, and much more. Let work be a portion of your life, but don’t let it become your entire world. Don’t forget that you were put on this Earth to grow as a person, and that can’t happen unless you enjoy and live through every facet of your life.
Those are just some of the changes I’ve noticed. I truly feel like a new person. Someone who’s excited about life, who can’t wait to explore the world, and who wants to be brave enough to travel on her own and enjoy it. Europe, you were so good to me that I cannot wait to go back! Liz, you were the best companion I could ask for. I would go anywhere with you because you’ve got my back and I’ve got yours. Plus you make me laugh so hard I almost pee my pants. (hahahaha) Life, thank you for being so wonderful to me. I’m sure I’ll notice more things, and if you guys are okay with it I’ll post about those later.
One last thing, today I went to my Facebook because I wanted to change the name on there from Vicky to Victoria. It’s funny how small of a thing it seems, but I couldn’t do it. Victoria is my birth name, but it was also the girl I was on this trip. And Vicky, is that girl that moved to America and has grown up learning about herself within the American culture. I couldn’t let go of Vicky just yet. Maybe soon I can make the transition from Vicky to Victoria.
Much love always