In a few hours my summer ends. I’ll be landing in London to begin preparing for my first day of class. Even though it isn’t necessary, or prompted, I feel urged to conclude my trip. To report on it some grand realization or life lesson – as if traveling as I have has enlightened me in some way.
Looking back on the past six weeks, besides my offensive new hairstyle I feel unchanged. I’m happy about this. The reason being that every trip I took during my youth gave me a new since of self. During this euro trip I had equally memorable experiences to those prior. However, from those experiences I’ve not adopted new life altering perspectives.
It is often said people travel to find themselves. I believe it is to test them-selves. Just like a company must test it’s products, people must test their character. And after enough testing, we must accept who we are and confidently bring it to the world. By feeling unchanged by the past few weeks, I believe I may have refined my character to a more consistent and well-rounded level. A level where I might just be able to engage with more long term commitments – less consumed by the fear of “what if I change?”
At the moment I’m sitting with Dallas on the lake in Hamburg, Germany. Yesterday morning after waking from a long evening, we took the last opportunity we had to feel unsure of something. Walking to the train station without a destination in mind, we were enjoying uncertainty. Brussels, Copenhagen, Bremen, and even Oslo were in mind, but we weren’t sure.
In a world where most everything known is mapped and recorded, the most attainable sense of adventure is one I artificially create. It is when I attempt to limit my resources. Then act as though I didn’t have other options. In hindsight it often seems silly, but I never regret doing so. Because too often do I lack the motivation to do something when it seems too easy. And honestly, most of the things I’ve done are easy to do.
We ended up in Hamburg because it was the most affordable destination from Berlin. Additionally, from HAM airport was the best deals for a last minute flight to London that we could find. Upon arrival we checked into our 10-bed dorm room hostel, visited a grocery store to pick-up a few picnic essentials, and found grassy knoll on the lake’s shore to reminisce.
Besides a few photographs, I believe I’m leaving my euro trip with a more solidified sense of self. Throughout my short life I’ve constantly been shaped by the world. Now it may be time for me to begin shaping it. We will see.