here is a story

In two days I am leaving on a jet plane (oh the heart strings), this time to Mexico. I feel like I should be adding a million exclamation marks there because woo hoo, Mexico! And climbing,and, like, TACOS. And I am excited! But also kind of overwhelmed.

I decided I needed a pep talk. I needed a hug.

So here is that pep talk, for myself, for anyone who has ever felt like the world was huge and scary but oh how they wanted to be out there; a virtual hug.

Once upon a time, a time nearly seven years ago to be precise, a girl hugged her parents and her best friends goodbye at an airport in Adelaide, Australia. She was 23 years old and she was going to France.

Why France?  When I look back on those days, I remember thinking of France as just this magical place of baguettes and romance and history. Growing up in Australia everything about Europe was mysterious and enticing to me – castles and stories and ancient little villages and CHEESE. I also had a broken heart, and there’s nothing like travelling across the globe to escape, to (try and) reinvent yourself, to start again.

So I got on that plane. I had never been on a long haul flight, never been to a country where English wasn’t the primary spoken language – never stayed in a hostel, never been so completely alone, with just my carefully packed backpack, my journal, my french dictionary.

I was so nervous but I remember mostly being excited.

Those first months in France were a blur of trying to get a grasp on the language, making new friends, navigating Nice, learning the art of travelling. I worked in a bar, which was definitely the best thing for my language skills but oh man it was stressful – working in hospitality anywhere can be stressful; try adding a language barrier and it’s a whole new ballgame.

I spent way too much money. (Thanks mama and papa for saving me). I made friends who I am still close to (in spirit, if not proximity) today. I learned how tough I can be, even if I’m scared, even if I’m lonely, even if I have no idea where I am going.

I learned that just because somewhere looks close on google maps doesn’t actually mean you can walk there. I learned how to actually save my money and travel smarter.

And now, here I am, nearly seven years later. Those first scary months I now look at with a kind of nostalgic fondness. Since then I have learned how to snowboard, how to climb. I can actually speak French, although I think my accent will forever be laughed at. I have discovered a love for mountains and a culture I barely even knew existed before. I’ve biked the west coast of the United States by myself, I’ve caught a plane to Peru on a whim and had some of the best adventures.

oregon coast at sunset

me and charlie (my bike, my baby) in oregon at sunset one day

I never even dreamed I would be where I am right now, sitting in a coffee shop in a cute little mountain town in Canada, writing about the girl I used to be.

SO.

If that twenty three year old girl can get herself on a plane to France with dreams of baguettes and hope and adventure, so can I. (So you can you!!!) I just have to pack those bags (ahhhhh!!) and my Spanish dictionary (AHHH!!!) and take a deep breath, trust the universe and trust myself.

It’s going to be ok 🙂

One thought on “here is a story

  1. That girl (you) has always been so brave and adventurous. And determined. At least that is what we ale ways see on the outside. Keep spreading your wings and flying and remember you always have this nest, as well as the other, to return to if you need it, want it… Stay safe.

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