Just minutes ago, I boarded a train to be whisked away to Milan, my first solo excursion, since we arrived in the heart of Firenze, just three short weeks ago. This will be the first lone travel of many, might I add. And strangely enough, unlike my peers, I feel not one bit doubtful of, or remotely phased by the trek (early train there, followed by an overnight one to Venice, with yet another overnight haul back to Florence to finish) that lies ahead. Even more strangely, as my legs curled around the underside of that plane over the drop zone, I recall a similar sensation. I am assuming this is not the typical response from most when they are about to fling themselves — and potentially even their lives altogether — from the clouds. There is a sensation in pit in your stomach. Not a nervous one but an eager, let’s-freaking-do-this one.
In the moments that I free fell from 14,000+ feet up, I knew that everything I had become was every bit capable. Capable of pushing — sometimes BEING pushed — to the limits, and in the end surviving. Thriving, even. I mean, if I can keep a family of four afloat after the absolute worst case scenario, realistically is there anything in this world I cannot do? All in all, it is about taking control by realizing that you are not necessarily always in control… I think putting your life in the hands of a stranger and a parachute is a pretty good start.
Now, I would like to clarify what exactly I meant by the first stop of this multi-destination trip being the first of many solo travels. It is not that I simply do not like to do things with other people; in fact, I could stand to be a little more antisocial sometimes, especially in the library. Please don’t get me wrong, the most fun I had in London and throughout my life, were when I was surrounded by others. But not every single minute of every single day can, solely, be about having fun. Wow! That is SO out of character for me to say so let me explain.
Being in the presence of those closest to me, more often than not, has given me years of laughter and happiness. Short term happiness. If there is anything you take from this blog, please, please, let it be that everything you feel, everything you are, and everything you will become, all starts with you. That is precisely why the experiences I have spent alone, primarily while traveling, are my favorite. Because these are the moments where true change -meaningful, raw soul-awakening, life-changing change, really occurs.
Though this weekend excursion is super spontaneous and painfully last minute, that is not the only reason I have chosen to travel in the manner I am. I mean, back-to-back, overnight trains, in the cramped quarters of economy class, is not, necessarily, appealing to the average person. But for some reason, even if more typical options were cheaper/easier, part of me knows I would find myself right here in seat 14C anyways. Because “roughing” this journey, however small on the map, will benefit me far more in the long run than a first class flight ever will. Adventure in any measure is more than worth a few extra hours in coach, because why not? That is what it means to be an authentic traveler, to have a true travelers heart.
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories – their voices.
About the Author:
Class of 2019
Minor: Criminal Justice
Around the World and into Myself