To My Family & Friends, I’m Sorry

To my family and friends, I’m sorry.

Things have gotten a little chaotic over here.  Life has been turned upside down.  I’ve danced on way too many beaches, climbed way too many temples, watched way too many sunsets, swam in way too many waterfalls, hiked way too many mountains, scootered way too many streets, drank way too many buckets, made way too many friends, and created way too many memories to continue to keep you in the dark.

I’m sorry.

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travel in your 20s

I’m really trying to turn things around.

I’m 8 months late to the game, but better late than never, right?  I had every intention of starting a travel blog when I began my journey 8 months ago but one thing led to another and it never really got started.

I sent 10 emails home.

I tried to keep you updated about everything I was doing– the sights I saw, the people I met, the crazy stories I endured, the adventures that unraveled– everything.  And for the first few weeks, I kept the stories coming.  I even contemplated sharing them on this blog.  The emails were fantastic!  I loved writing them!

But then I tried to write email #11 and I couldn’t.

I typed and typed and typed but I couldn’t get my words to explain how I really felt.  I couldn’t get it to make sense.  I couldn’t get my message across.  And then I realized why…

It stopped being about the places.

It started being about the people.  I no longer wanted to tell you the names of landmarks or churches, I wanted to tell you about the people.  I wanted to tell you about the names of friends, their jobs, and their reasons for traveling.  I wanted to tell you about how I felt so at home, so loved, and so in my element.  I wanted to tell you about the late night shenanigans, the first guy that made me bat an eye, and the girly conversations over sangria while people watching on La Rambla.

I wanted to tell you particularly about my friend Eric.  I tried to in a prior email.  I told you how he saved my life while traveling to Barcelona but I wanted to tell you so much more.  I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t find the words.  I still can’t.

I wanted to tell you about that conversation we had in the park.  I wanted to tell you about that moment on the bench, when whatever he was saying, things started to click in my head.  I wanted to tell you about the people watching, the puppy playing, and the bubble blowing.  I wanted to tell you about the dancing, about the girl who danced to the crazy beat of the drum.  I wanted to tell you about his extensive views on filter feeder fish, a topic which you care nothing about.  I wanted to tell you his method for tipping a street performer.  I wanted to tell you about his job, his life, and everything else that ensued that evening. I wanted to tell you how, in that moment, everything started to fall into place… and I owe it all to him.

I wanted to tell you that after weeks of traveling and months of feeling alone, I finally felt like everything was going to be okay.

I wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t.  And because of that, the emails stopped and the blog never started.  And for that, I am sorry.  I wasn’t ready.  My wounds were still too fresh.

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traveling tends to magnify all human emotions

My blog never started.

Yes, I posted to social media.  Yes, I shared my journey on Snapchat.  Yes, I sent letters home to family and friends.  But nothing really stuck in regards to writing every day.  I couldn’t even commit to writing in my own personal journal every day.  Something that was once so natural to me was now so hard to keep up with.  But why?

I’ve pondered this question for months.  And in the time I’ve spend wondering why I couldn’t take action, I continued to avoid taking action.  Seems a little paradoxical, don’t you think?

The only way to start is to start.

Hoping that my family and friends check my snapchat every day in order to “see” what I’m up to is beyond selfish.  While it’a a great addition to letters home or phone calls, it shouldn’t be the only source of communication.  When did I become so disengaged and so removed?

That’s not me.  Or is it?

When did I start dodging my mom’s calls?

When did I start dodging my mom’s calls, yet answer the random Facebook messages from strangers looking for advice about an upcoming trip?  When did I make that shift?  When did I prioritize strangers over family?  When did I actually start to believe that this behavior was okay?

I see the phone ring and immediately I panic. 

I don’t want to talk about myself.  I’m so over talking about myself.  I don’t want to stop what I’m doing to explain what I’m doing.  I don’t want to go into details about the people and places and things I saw.  I don’t want to try to catch you up.  There’s no way I could catch you up.  And the things that are important to me, the people, the experiences, the moments… those aren’t necessarily the things that you want to hear. You can’t really relate.  And that’s okay. 

But how do I get my stories across in a way that is relatable, entertaining, relevant, not overly boastful, yet definitely not toned down?

pin thistraveling leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller

The only way to start, is to start.

If I want to start getting excited about my life— both here and at home— then I’ve got to start including the people that matter most.  I’ve got to find the balance.  And I’ve got to start now.

To my family and friends, I’m sorry.  I know you care.  And I suck for leaving you in the dark.  I hope I can make it up to you.  I have no idea how 8 months have already passed.

To the people who have reached out asking for advice, keep the messages coming.  You fuel my fire.  You keep me excited.  You make me want to share the world with you.  You get me pumped each and every day.  You keep me up late, inspire me to wake up early, and rock my soul at the deepest core.  You are where I find my happiness.

And to the people who are waiting in the shadows, still to scared to make a move, I’m here when you’re ready.  Big decisions are scary.  You are not alone.

8 Months Later

So 8 months behind, beyond overwhelmed, and confident that I will never be able to fully “catch you up” but it here it goes!  The only way to start, is to start.

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