Adventure is defined as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” While most of my travel experiences have not been hazardous, they have at least been exciting and sometimes unusual. There is always something new or memorable about an adventure, even if it’s the same one twelve different times.
After three long months of planning and waiting and dreaming, the day has finally come. As per my usual pre-travel ritual, I have had about sixteen breakdowns this week because my backpack was too small and I stubbed my toe and we don’t have any bug spray in the house when I thought we did and the rabbits kept hiding underneath the couches. I feel like I’ve packed too much and not enough at the same time. And of course I’ve got that looming feeling that I’m going to forget something and realise it as soon as I step onto the airplane. But today, Alexa and I will begin our journey with 19+ hours of travel from New York to Seoul. We will meet up with Gina and travel to Southeast Asia for a week, and then head back to Seoul–all on probably too few hours of sleep.
I’ve known Alexa and Gina for a number of years–though exactly how many is still up for debate, as I recall being friends with them at least three years before we really became friends in the eighth grade. They were two of the friends I braved high school with. All of the scary, difficult, weird parts of high school. But also all of the new and fun and wonderful parts too. We traveled together to California and Kentucky (both for national DECA competitions) and were all lucky enough to study abroad in college.
While we’ve had our share of adventures over the years, there is something about each new trip that makes it feel like the first time all over again. The butterflies are fluttering around my brain and my stomach. I can’t stop tapping my foot. I want to jump up and down, because it’s finally here!
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
– Amelia Earhart
It’s not just the big thing that’s important though–whatever it is. It’s the getting there. And the being there. And it’s even the going home. The search histories full of potential attractions and accommodations, of possibilities. The packing (and repacking) of bags and suitcases. The growing anticipation. It’s the forgetting what day it is because you’re having so much fun or the delayed flights that make you want to pull your hair our. It’s sleeping on airport floors or constantly getting lost due to your inadequate map-reading skills. Eating peanut butter sandwiches to save some money or wearing all of your clothes at once so you can fit everything else into your carry on. And all of that adds up to the big thing–the adventure.
As I embark on this next journey of mine, and as you embark on each journey of your own, I remind you that the adventure lies in every part of these journeys, not just the end.
Keep your eyes and your minds wide open, or you may miss all of the best parts.
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