I admit, I can be a bit naive at times. I don’t take the appropriate amount of time to extend beyond the bubble of life that I’m in. I don’t bother much with politics or celeb gossip, although I do have a deep admiration for a select few. I don’t want to get in the middle of office drama or give a shit what kind of lifestyle choice people make in one fashion or another.. But I’ve always known that I’m just a small puzzle piece in the world. The world is so vast and I try not to ever forget that.
I do my fair share of complaining and throw pity parties just as much as the next person but I always feel so guilty because I know that someone, somewhere has a life much more worthy of sympathy. I guess what I’m trying to say is that traveling across the world didn’t give me the “omg, the world is so big” feeling like I’d read about and perhaps what you’d assume to read in my “What I Learned” post. Because, I already feel that way. Has it been accentuated a bit more, sure. But what I learned on this trip has surprisingly taken me on down a different path.
I learned that no matter how much research you do, you’ll never have all the answers. You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s a tough thing for me to wrap my head around. Going into this trip and trips in the past, people have given me so much shit for being an organizational spaz, for lack of a better term. I do my research. I have my binder full of all the important info, I have extra copies of everything, two versions of itineraries; the list goes on. While I know that I might suffer a bit from extreme org probs, it gives me a sense of comfort knowing that whatever issue or question might arise, I’ll likely have the answer because I looked into it already. But, I don’t have all the deets and each year I take away something from our trip so that the next trip can be better.
This time around, I dropped the ball on two things I’ll keep in mind for the future:
- Resting is necessary. While on vacation or traveling to somewhere new, I don’t want to take time to rest. I may never be here again. I always have it in the back of my mind; that we’ll need a mental, physical, wellness type of day but I always fail to properly insert it. This year involved a lot of activity. Expected, sure. But probably not to the degree that I had intended. This caused both my mom and I to call a timeout near the end of our trip. We’d hit our wall.
- Check out the terrain, girl. One thing that is important to me is easy access to public transit. It’s been a key component in each trip we’ve taken and even more so this time around because we had to rely 100% on it. I was successful in that every accommodation we had, it was no more than a 12 minute walk from either our activity, city centre, or public transit. However, I didn’t check terrain. Who would have thought to? And maybe that might not matter to the majority but it mattered to my mom and me. Hauling 45 pound suitcases and 15-20 pound backpacks up a steep Edinburgh hill to the hotel wasn’t our best moment.
Okay, now I’m majorly off track from what I’d intended to write in today’s closing post.
While not directly related to anything specific on our trip, the greatest thing I learned over the last two weeks is that I am worth it. I’m worth having dreams and fulfilling them. I’m capable of doing anything I could ever imagine wanting to do from travel to career to relationships to family. I am so worth it. I can do anything and I can go anywhere. I can talk to anyone and be anyone I want to be. I can laugh and be goofy; I can be crabby and have a meltdown in the middle of a 5 Guys Burgers and Fries restaurant; I can help and care and I can be selfish. I can do and be all of those things and still be worth it.
And so can you.
I feel so lucky to be able to travel with my mom. I’ve heard over the last handful of years and I know she has to that people are so surprised we can “stand each other” enough to travel together. It’s not easy. We’re not the definition of a perfect mother/daughter relationship; that doesn’t exisist, I don’t think. But what I think is most important isn’t our compatibiilty to travel together but rather our sense of adventure and curioustiy for the world and the unknown. We’re not afraid to explore beyond our comfort zones. Well, we are. But not enough to let it stop us. And we just so happen to be mother and daughter.
My mom is my best friend, she always has been even when I didn’t know it. Charles Schultz was quoted saying “In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” This is so true. I’ve been on a handful of places without my mom and every trip is different. Hell, all of ours are different as well. But every trip I take with my mom, I know that she is just as ready to conquer whatever we have planned as I am and that, you can’t find often in a travel partner. Thank you, mom, for being that person for/with me!
“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before.” -Dalai Lama
And thank you to everyone that has been reading and following along on our first big world adventure! It’s been an absolute blast to see more than just the dual-state area that we live in. A true bucket list adventure that I was able to cross off my list! I am so very glad to live where I do and have the luxuries of the middle-class American way but I do miss it already, I miss the adventure. I miss the foreign landscape and the bustling cities. I miss the ocean and the buildings higher than we could see. To those still with me on my ramble of the day, where have you been? Where do you want to go? Where are all of your favorite places? I can’t wait to add more stamps to my passport and I’d love to hear where I should go next!