I haven't been writing as much as I thought I would on this trip, but I wanted to take some time to sit and reflect on what has been an amazing first two weeks.
When I look back, I have learnt so much in such a short amount of time, just from embracing the 'change' that I spoke about in one of my previous posts and overcoming many fears along the way. My good friend Fontaine puts it best when she says "It is not the absence of fear that propels us forward, but rather, the presence of courage".
I want be as honest as possible with these posts, as I feel there is a much deeper connection both as a writer and for the reader, so I will start by saying that the beginning of my journey was not a very pleasant one.
After landing in Rome on my first night and going for a quick stroll down to the Colosseum (as you do), I was overcome by many different emotions, both good and bad. Over the next 24 hours, I began to quickly sink into a hole that I thought I would not get out of. Whether it was fear of the unknown, being alone in a foreign environment, no sleep on a twenty-three hour plane ride, or simply the fact that I had thrown myself head first into the deep end and had no idea what I was doing, I was ready to jump back on a plane and head home. - Yes, no exaggeration, I almost bought a ticket.
The reason I wanted to write this though was not because of that moment, but because of what has followed. These past two week cannot be put into words, or an image, or a movie, not in their entirety anyway. It feels as if I have experienced more in two weeks than I have in my twenty-five years on this earth. Not just the amazing places of course, but the people, the relationships, the wisdom, the knowledge, the emotions, the good times, the bad times, the times I stood staring in wonderment for hours, the food (OMG the food), the adventures, getting lost yet being in the exact right place... and so much more.
My aim for this trip is to have as many experiences as possible. The reason I say this is that I have learnt in recent times that it is not just the good experiences that we need in our lives, we also need the bad. Just as we learn from our mistakes, we learn from the bad times as well. We gain strength, we gain wisdom and most importantly, we gain courage.
Yes we are going to go through some tough situations in this life and it will always be easier to give up and quit, but I urge you to push through that barrier, to claw your way out of that hole until you see the light that was there all along. Looking back now, if I had of given up, if I had of quit, I would have missed out on the most incredible two weeks of my life, not to mention everything else that is to come.