July 19, 2011 Bogota, Colombia
There is this moment were everything hits you. When things quite down around you and you actually see clearly for the first time what has happened in your life. It can either be an extremely depressing or uplifting experience. I feel so fortunate that for me, it is the latter.
9 months ago I left the USA and set out to travel the world. I arrived wide eyed and bewildered in Beirut but never imagined the amazing adventures and experiences that were ahead of me. I have been to 20 countries, on 4 different continents, in 7 various regions of the world and have had so many incredible experiences I never thought were possible.
On the last day of my 9 month adventure, I had a moment when I realized how incredible my life has been. The sites I have seen, the people I have met, and most importantly, how much closer I feel to myself. For the last 263 days I have lived each and every moment to the very fullest and felt alive in a way I never have before.
The other day someone asked me, “So your travels are almost over. How do you feel?” I really didn’t know how to answer but the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “I feel so full. Full of experiences, full of confidence, full of life.” It was then that I realized just how much I am walking away with.
For some time now I have had this looming fear that once I return to the states, I will be back in the same place I was last summer and somehow this whole experience will seem like a dream that never happened, strangely disconnected from my normal life. Today as I was talking with someone about being sad to go home he told me, “We can travel inside ourselves more than we can in the world.” I know that although this trip is coming to an end, my journey will continue. There is no way that I can go back and feel the same because I am not the same. This experience has changed me in so many ways and now I have to find a way to integrate everything I have seen, learned and felt into my life back home.
Though it is very difficult to see this chapter come to a close, the only thing I can feel in this moment is gratitude. I am so extremely fortunate to have had 9 months to explore the world, see myself in a different light and meet people from so many walks of life. Although my travels are ending, I will never forget the days I spent “wondering and wandering” the world and I know this experience will be a part of me for as long as I live.
***Please continue to follow my blog as due to limited internet access I have not been able to post as I go but I will upload new entries upon by return on the last 4 months of my journey.