“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice”

I love to travel. Two of my passions in life are traveling and photography, and lucky for me, those go hand in hand.  So, since I will be doing a lot of traveling in the next 3 months, I have decided to write a blog about it. That way people back home can catch up with what I’m doing and I don’t have to repeat all the stories over and over. In the next 3 weeks, a lot of my time will be spent in airports or in the car. Let me just give you my schedule: I am currently on a plane to Los Angeles, where I will be for a week. Then 2 days after I get home, I leave to go to Chapel Hill to move my sister into college and then 2 days after that I fly to Connecticut to visit friends. And after a week of that I’ll be on a plane to London for 3 months! So this gives me 4 days of free time this month. Wow. And while I’ll have been on 6 different planes, been in 6 different states, 10 cities and 2 countries over the course of 3 short weeks, the thought of that doesn’t tire me out at all. In fact it excites me probably more than it should. I would rather live a fast paced life where I just go, go, go rather than staying in one place for long.

Notice the title of this post. I’m currently reading the book “Eat, Pray, Love,” a story about a woman who spends a year living in Italy, India and Indonesia to rediscover herself. I thought this was an appropriate book to read before I set off to live in Europe for 3 months. As I’m reading it, I’ve found it has a lot of insight in it that has kind of hit home with me. Especially when the author writes “to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” Studying abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do, and when I got to college, I didn’t think twice about applying for the London program. I was ecstatic when I found out I got accepted into the program (only 39 students get chosen) and to make things even better, 2 of my best friends are going with me! As time went on though, I began to doubt my decision. My friends and I had weighed the options and chosen to go fall semester, but suddenly I wondered if I had made the right choice. Going in the fall meant I was going to miss the excitement of coming back to Elon and seeing all my friends in the fall, all the fun beginning of school activities at Elon, the football games and most importantly Thanksgiving with my family (it seemed weird to be spending Thanksgiving in the country we had basically run from. Hey at least it’s not 4th of July…) Oh and it didn’t help that I was dating a guy who I found out (after I’d made my decision) was graduating in December. A long distance relationship didn’t seem so fun. I started praying there was a way I could switch to go in the spring so I could spend Thanksgiving with my family and have one more semester with my boyfriend. Lame, I know. Summer rolled around and for the first month I was still regretting my decision. I didn’t really share these doubts with anyone other than my parents. Deep down, I knew I was being stupid, but I didn’t realize it until about a month later. Halfway through June, my boyfriend and I broke up. I was crushed but in a way, it took some of that doubt away. I became more excited to go to London because now I didn’t have to feel like I was leaving someone. There was still that little twinge of doubt though. And then I started reading the book and I realized just how stupid I was being. It hit me like a ton of bricks. “Julia, you’re about to embark on the best 3 months of your life. You’ll never have this experience again.” That little voice inside of me was right. When else would I have the opportunity to live in Europe?? Most likely never.  Everything I was so worried about giving up suddenly seemed so small. To travel is worth ANY cost or sacrifice. Yes, there are things I’m going to have to give up but they are a small price to pay for the experience I have ahead of me. I began to see everything in a new light. Spending Thanksgiving in London is still going to be kind of weird (apparently they don’t have normal stuffing over there? Oh noo!) but I’ll get to cook my own Thanksgiving for the first time. Better to get it out of the way now rather than when I’m married and have to cook for the whole family. Ha! And I think I can give up Elon’s football games in exchange for Oktoberfest in Germany!  I also realized that I didn’t need to worry about the friends I was leaving, because if people really care about me, they’ll still be there when I get back. About the cost part of the quote, obviously money was a factor in my doubt too. I have a savings account that I haven’t touched because I was saving for the future (no plans, I just figured I’d know when to use it), and I realized that almost all of that would go to my travel while abroad. I worried if that was smart. I thought about college loans and expenses when I graduate. But luckily God has blessed with a job this summer where I make some pretty awesome money (lets just say a large majority of my weekly checks can each cover a weekend trip in Europe somewhere). I realized that the money I’ve worked so hard to earn and save is going to go to something I love. I know that this is that special thing I had been waiting for. And if I feel that it’s worth using all that money, you can be sure I will! I’m confident that God will continue to provide for me as long as I continue to work hard and do what I love.  I truly do believe that to do what you love is worth any cost or sacrifice, and no one should give that up for anything or anyone.

With love from 30,000 feet above you,

Julia

Oh and p.s. if you didn’t figure it out, I’m now super excited to go to London and am counting the days!

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