Far from home is a perfect place to start [Day 27 of Thankfulness]
currently: listening to 'Golden' by Switchfoot
I was 16 years old, sitting inside a Year 13 classics class. Posters of Mr Stevens' Roman holiday covered the walls, of amazing sculptured monuments, alongside Latin phrases and pictorials of Greek vases. It was there, daydreaming in the middle of a Roman architecture lecture, that I made a wish.
"One day I'll visit Rome for myself."
Of course wishes like that felt far and unattainable. It was the sort of wish that fell into the category of "when I'm an adult", "when I have a lot of money" and "when I'm old". I wasn't that serious about it because it all felt in the distant future.
Forward to eight years later. I don't consider myself a proper adult, old or with a lot of money now. So when my friend suggested to me "we should go to Europe together one day," I immediately put it in that wishful category.
"Oh yeah, definitely! I'd love to go to Rome."
Two months later, we've booked a trip to Europe. Together we're spending almost a month from October travelling through a number of countries, including a few nights in Rome.
In many ways travelling makes me nervous. From petty pick pocketing, to losing your luggage, getting mugged, and then terror attacks - there are a lot of threats to one's well-being. One friend of mine was mere meters away from a massive random shooting while travelling in Israel. That stuff is scary. And these things play on my mind when I think of the big wide world. There's all this unfamiliarity and unknown outside my comfort zone of New Zealand.
But at the same time, it's that same unfamiliarity that makes travelling so alluring. To see things I've never seen before, carved by unknown hands and unspoken tongues in history. To see and learn the things that shaped our history and shape cultures oceans away from mine.
So while I desire every bit of comfort and safety in my own little bubble, when you step onto another land, I know there's so much to gain. A learning and cultural experience to breathe, touch, taste and get a better understanding of. To take the stuff I've learned and see it all for myself.
And more importantly, to take a 16 year old's wish and make it true.
"You're a lonely soul, in a land of broken hearts
Far from home is the perfect place to start."
Golden - Switchfoot
I'm writing 31 personal stories about things in my life I'm thankful for. See all my posts during my month of thankfulness here.