After a busy semester, running around, getting paper work in to both ETSU and SACI, I returned home for winter break thinking that finally, I could begin thinking about my upcoming trip to Italy. After just a couple of days at home, it became clear that this holiday season was going to be far too busy to think about Italy. Three weeks later, I am all packed. My suitcase and duffle bag are sitting in the front hall waiting to accompany me to the airport tomorrow. I’m sitting here numb. I’m excited but equally anxious, evening out my emotions to be energetic but calm.
It seems unreal that I’ll be on my plane to Europe in less than 24 hours. It seems like just last year, I was in middle school, hearing about my older cousin going abroad to Copenhagen. Now, one of my best friends is doing that same trip to Copenhagen, and I’m flying off on a trip I thought was ages away.
My phone plan has been suspended for the next few months, so once I leave the house, I won’t be able to communicate with my parents or friends until I have wifi in Italy.
This isn’t my first time traveling alone. When I was sixteen, I went to France on my own. Since my last solo international excursion, I have grown a lot, but the intimidation of traveling alone remains. Five years older than I was last time, I still find myself feeling young and small as I think about the adventures ahead.
With friends living in Germany, and friends studying in the U.K., France, and Denmark, I am thrilled with the opportunities to come. I will not let intimidation hold me back, but I will embrace that intimidation as it brings with it growth and memories.