This photo is a re-creation of one taken of my sister when she made her first trip to France. I framed hers as a symbol of how proud I was of her for taking that trip. I wasn't able to go with her that time and I have to admit that I was so envious of her for getting to see all of the places I had dreamed of.
This trip to Europe was that dream come true and I am so glad that I made it. There were times I lied awake at night wondering if I was doing the right thing. Should I spend this money on travel instead of my house? How would we navigate these cities on our own, would we get lost? Would my travel insurance cover me losing my nerve and cancelling the whole thing? I am so glad that I fought through the fear and uncertainty and took the leap of faith into the adventure waiting for me on the other side of the ocean.
The more I look back on my vacation, the happier I am that I took it. It is so much fun to be watching a TV show or a movie that is set in one of the places I visited and think, "I have been right there." Something as simple as eating gelato takes me back to the streets I walked in Italy and the awe that I felt while there. My time in Paris has inspired me to learn French and return to that city speaking like a native.
If there's anything that you've dreamed of doing, big or small, I hope you find inspiration in my story of leaving my comfort zone and take a chance on the adventure waiting for you. I hope you get the opportunity to see and experience something that you thought was beyond your reach and your capabilities.
The 32-days that I spent on my trip of a lifetime has given me the hope that my life, even if it is different than I thought it would be, can be even better than I had planned and that the life waiting for me could be a more wonderful adventure than I could have ever imagined.