I've been a bit MIA during my travels abroad... 4 amazing weeks flew by fast! I studied and lived mainly in Dublin, but visited all over Ireland and some of London too (but more on all that later). I can't really describe the way it feels to be home now. Like I found some part of myself over there that I hadn't known I'd been missing. That nothing here has changed, but I'm seeing it through different eyes now.
Travel can mean all sorts of things to people - a way to relax, explore, learn about new cultures. A vessel to escape the less-than-perfect parts we've accumulated in our day to day lives, like sweeping dust bunnies under the bed. If only temporarily.
But the things we run away from - bad job, lack of purpose, fear, heartbreak, failure... Don't just stay behind where we've left them. At the end of the day you look in the mirror to find that they've all become a part of you, these bits and pieces you carry around, the cracks in your armor that only you're aware of.
What I've learned, and I urge you to do, is embrace these messy parts of you. Stop thinking about the way you wish your life could be, or the way that others perceive it. Stop running and start living, for real. For nobody but your own present self.
They say we should let the past stay in the past, but I'm learning to hold it steady by my side. Memories no longer feel like a grenade that's waiting to burst, filling me with embarrassment and self-doubt, longing and regret, if I should happen to let them cross my mind. This past month of traveling has challenged me in every way - from navigating airports and subways on my own to learning how to be more open and meeting people from every walk of life. I'm building upon my many past chapters, not running from them.
So get out! Travel and see the world (if you can)! Or be a tourist in your own town for a day. See and feel and know new things, but don't forget to pack your past selves along for the ride, too.