3 a.m. The alarm rings. You wake up but really, you haven’t been sleeping. The excitement kicks in. The butterflies in your stomach are uncontrollable and your smile appears at the mere sight of your neatly packed suitcase. Containing your excitement is not an option because you know that shortly, at 30 000 feet in the air, you will be on your way to a new destination. You and your neatly packed suitcase will be on your way to a new journey filled with moments you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
It’s funny because as I started writing this article, I imagined my 8-year-old self overly excited to leave for Disney World. However, as the words started flowing on my page, I realized that my emotions in regards to going away have simply stayed the same. That feeling of looking forward to something is purely amazing no matter how old you are.
Last summer, I had the chance to go to Italy and let me tell you it was as beautiful as everyone says it is. From the architecture in Rome to the landscapes in Tuscany, to the beaches in Amalfi, the country really is dreamlike. Every day I woke up and realized the luck I had to visit such a surreal place. At first, I admit, I felt a little out of place but as the days went by, I felt more and more comfortable. The last few days are always the greatest because those are the days when you feel completely content and stress-free. Those are the days when Italy finally feels like home. And that feeling is solely indescribable.
So to that I say, concluding a trip is not about closing the content filled photo album, it’s not about recounting your experience to others and it’s not about the stories on Snapchat. Concluding a trip is about reflecting on how it made you feel and how it allowed you to grow. When you watched the sunset by the beach in Costa Rica, did you feel full? When you watched the busy streets of Madrid through your Airbnb window, did you feel mesmerized by a different culture? And when you stared at the stars from your balcony in Tuscany, did you, for once, feel at ease and intuned with yourself? I hope you did because those are the little moments that put a meaning on all those photos. Those little moments are the reason why you want to recount your experiences and share them with the world. The most beautiful thing about traveling is that it allows us to discover somewhere new while making us discover who we are just a little more. So please, next time you are on a trip, remember to grasp every moment and truly enjoy every single second. Take the time to realize where you are and the luck you have to explore. Take a step back, breathe, close your eyes and just take it all in.
Thanks for reading xo