Tough Choices: Saying ‘Until Tomorrow’ to International Travel

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one travel, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair, 
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted
wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

                          -Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken”

Having the ability to travel should never be taken for granted, but yet, I feel like sometimes it is. Take me for example. Whenever I daydream about traveling, I picture myself in a foreign country where I can’t speak the language, getting somewhat lost in the city center. I loved my experience traveling to Spain and Ireland, so I always want to relive those moments over and over again. Over the winter break, I dedicated my time to apply for summer internships across the US and various countries. All of the internship locations sounded appealing, but the international positions always connected to exotic imagery in my head. I wanted the internship location and position to bring me adventure, so when I got two offers from two different areas of the world, both jammed pack with adventure, I was stuck. Upstate New York and Bulgaria were fighting head to head in my mind in a travel sense, but I needed to be an adult and make a thoughtful decision. I knew Bulgaria would be an intense adventure that I could only imagine, but costly. I also knew that my excitement for the work I would be doing in New York state and a half-country road trip to get there brought the adventure I needed as well. Through my moment of indecisiveness and a little help from my best friends, I needed to make a decision.

Once I had made my decision, I thought declining Bulgaria would be easy. Just another box to check off my to-do list, but when I finished typing my email, I kept re-reading and double checking my words. I wanted this declining email to be perfect and wanted to somehow express how sorry I was that I couldn’t partake in an adventure to a country I’ve never visited. When I finally hit send, I felt a pinch in my stomach. It was almost like my inner wanderlust was inside of me, kicking and screaming in anger that I denied it of its thirst. I literally could feel myself trying to reassure it. Letting it know that my time in New York would include travel and new adventures.

I know I don’t have to be overseas to feed my cravings to travel. Taking a road trip to get to know my country sounds almost more nerve-racking than any new country I have ever visited. But that same nerve-racking energy that is bouncing in my mind is also the same energy that makes me more excited and happy with my decision.

Decisions don’t always come with the outcome you desired. Knowing this, and the path I chose, I can only wait for another decision to be made, another path to walk on…

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Erin Go Bragh: the Story of Withdrawal

My eyes are twitching and I’m feeling shaky and frustrated. All I can think about is what I want, but unfortunately cannot get to…

Withdrawal is not to be taken lightly. Especially since a year ago today I began an experience in Ireland that will never be forgotten and entirely missed. I spent 8 weeks in the city of Dublin with the hopes of gaining something more for myself. That was always my underlying mission for traveling; to discover something about myself that I didn’t know yet. Well now all I can say is thank you, Ireland.

The amount of fun I had, the people I met and the lessons I learned in Ireland could not add up to any college experience I had in the past four years.  To be honest, I didn’t expect to miss Ireland too much. The weather wasn’t all that great and I spent a lot of money. But then it hits me (and it hits me hard) when I see a menu that carries fish & chips or walk into a pub that is playing “Galway Girl”. I fight the urge not to break down and cry, because who does that over a country? Luckily, I am not alone in this “Ireland withdrawal”. The best friends I brought back are all missing it just as much as me, (maybe some more than others) and we do what we can to cope (drink Magners/Bulmers, visit every Irish pub in the Kansas City Metro Area, plan the next trip back, etc.). I know I am a lucky girl for getting to claim Ireland as my home for 8 weeks and I am thankful that I get to share the memories with such amazing friends.

Now I sit in my apartment and Facebook creep on my friends that are getting the opportunity to see such a beautiful country this summer. I have never felt so jealous in my entire life and really I shouldn’t be jealous. I should be happy that people are taking advantage of a great experience. I left Ireland with great friends, a lifetime supply of Irish Tea and memories that are priceless. What more could a girl want?

Cheers to the lucky ones that get to feel this feeling of withdrawal and wanderlust.  I am drinking a Bulmers for you all!

Erin Go Bragh!