For months I wondered what it would be like to be abroad. I wondered what struggles I would experience, obstacles I would face, joys I would find and beauty I would discover. I was simultaneously excited, terrified and overwhelmed when I boarded my flight to London. Usually, departing for an adventure thrills me to my core. However, this particular journey evoked some uneasiness in my soul because never had I left for an entire semester, been without my deepest friendships or experienced such independence. Suddenly I had the freedom to travel wherever whenever. Suddenly I realized I was given an opportunity to rest from long lists of extracurriculars. Suddenly I realized the opportunities for adventure were endless and at my fingertips. All I had to do was say yes.
So I said yes. I said yes to buying flights to Edinburgh and reserving overnight bus rides to Amsterdam. I said yes to waking up at dawn to see Arthur’s Seat and dancing in a three story night-club in Wales. The adventures I have said yes to have brought life to my bones and a smile to my face. They have reminded me that life and relationships are meant to be enjoyed. They have helped me remember the value in enjoying more and enduring less. They have told me to silence the fears and worries of this world and to fully experience the moments in which I’m walking. Not every moment is perfect. Some moments involve me wondering what my purpose in London is, feeling overwhelmed and experiencing exhaustion in every aspect of life. It is these moments of wrestling with the aches of my soul that I learn about myself and as I peel back these layers one by one I am able to perceive the view each adventure brings with a clearer and healthier mentality. “Being abroad” is synonymous for “being in process”. I’m processing the state of my heart and its trajectory while playing in a foreign city with people I didn’t know existed until a month ago. “Being abroad” is a season unlike any other, but I believe growth will take root unlike ever before. I’m thankful for a season of processing, adventure, playing and freedom.