I’m baaaaaaaack! After 10 days of absolute amazingness, I’ve returned to good ole South Carolina. And before normalcy seeps back in, I just want to spit out some of my aha moments during my time spent in Norway and Italy.
This trip was exactly what my mind and body needed after 3 months of negative self-talk and seclusion. I had been so down about not having my life figured out, being unemployed, and feeling like finding true friends in your twenties was impossible that I’d been failing to see all of the amazing opportunities, people, and experiences right in front of me.
And guys, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. This world is a beautiful place filled with genuine, kind people and so many doors begging to be opened.
It’s easy to let yourself slip into bad habits when you feel worthless. Trust me, I know. But letting yourself ease into darkness can prevent you from seeing all of the wonderful things available to you. I had even been so stressed out about the fact that I paid for this Eurotrip months ago when I had a stable job and was now going to lose so much money by going with no income that I barely let myself get excited about the fact that UM, HELLO. I WAS GOING TO EUROPE!
I am a very grateful and positive person, but I definitely allowed my negative self-talk to sabotage me this summer in more ways than one. I won’t bore you with those details, but I will share with you the things I found I was most grateful for during my trip abroad - things that I likely wouldn’t have been able to recognize had my thoughts been clouded with that same negativity as before. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery and letting go to get your mind right. After months of feeling depressed and sluggish I now feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and more grateful than ever. Thanks, Europe. <3
I am so very grateful for…
The ability to travel in my twenties.
This was the first time I went abroad as, in my opinion, an adult. And it made me see and appreciate things very differently than I had before.
New experiences with loved ones.
Experiencing a new country with 5 of my closest friends and watching Albert take in Europe was incredible. I also really loved spending time in my favorite foreign city with him. The day we arrived in Florence was the happiest I’d been in a long time, because I was in my favorite place with my favorite person! We didn’t even do much. We sat at an outdoor restaurant, ordered a bottle of Chianti Classico, and people watched. It was so simple and so perfect. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Lately I’ve been so hung up about the fact that I’m 23 and don’t have it all figured out. But, wait…I’m 23! I have plenty of time. I need to enjoy the ride and let things unfold naturally.
I take care of myself and am in great physical shape, which allowed me to trek all around Europe without difficulty. A lot of people, unfortunately, aren’t able to do so.
The means to travel.
The fact that I was able to save up enough money to fund a Eurotrip at 23 makes me so grateful. Should I have saved that money for something more practical? Maybe. But I think if you want something badly enough, you find a way to make it work.
Our world’s beauty.
With no much negativity and hurt surrounding us today, it was nice to be reminded of the world’s natural beauty and inhabitants. Not all places are corrupt, not all people are cruel, and every situation can be made into a positive one (or at the very least a learning experience) if you choose to make it so.
Learning new information about people’s cultures and customs.
I love school. If I could, I would be a professional student #nerdalert. Being out of school, I’ve realized, has sort of sent me into panic mode because I’m afraid I will become stagnant with my knowledge. Tori! Wake up! There is so much information to be consumed everywhere you go! Just because you are not in school and listening to a professor does not mean you are limited. :) Ever.
Intelligent conversation with people from all over the world.
It was so refreshing to meet friendly, new faces who were eager to have intelligent conversations with strangers. I am so sick of surface level interactions rather than deep, meaningful discussions. I loved that everyone I met and traveled with were quick to delve into important topics rather than the boring basics.
Delicious food and letting go of perfection.
My relationship with food is a constant struggle. I am always concerned with what I am eating and how I will exercise. During my Eurotrip I let go of all of that. I allowed myself to just relax and enjoy whatever I wanted. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that. And you want to know the hilarious part? I ended up losing 5 pounds while away. Be on the lookout for my new diet book…The Carbs, Gelato, and Walking Diet. HA!
An exciting new job.
The timing of landing my new job could not have been more perfect. I was able to go away on vacation without having to worry about diving back into the job hunt when I returned. And I was so excited to come home because I knew that something wonderful was waiting for me. It’s so nice to feel like you have purpose.
A beautiful home to come back to.
Ugh. I love my home. I love my city. I love that now when I say “home” it means in the suburbs of Mount Pleasant with Albert and our kitties. I am one lucky lady.
Friends that feel like family.
After college I felt like all of my closest friends parted ways, and it made me so sad. I missed living with them and being able to chat whenever. Reconnecting with them in Europe reminded me that it will always be wonderful when we get together. Distance is irrelevant. I am so lucky to know them. They will always be my family.
What are you most grateful for?
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