For our first Wanderlust Wednesday, I decided to start all the way at the beginning of my journey in my 20s. I was a junior in college when I’d never been out of the country.
And I was the one no one thought would ever leave the country. Really, I had trouble doing anything even slightly adventurous in general. For most of my life I had a reputation of playing it safe instead of swinging for the fences.
When my 8th grade class took an overnight trip to Washington DC, I didn’t go. I opted to stay in Massachusetts and go to Plymouth Plantation instead.
I got into a number of colleges, but the only ones I truly considered were those within a 2 hour drive of my mom’s house. I likely would have been best off in PA at Bryn Mawr, but instead I ended up in Western MA at Smith College.
However I finally managed to buck this fear of adventure my junior year of college. I met my now-boyfriend while he was traveling in America and staying at friend’s house. We hit it off and after hanging out constantly for about a month in the US he headed home to England.
Our hangouts moved to daily chats via Facebook and Skype. He had mentioned once or twice that he’d be glad to travel with me in Europe if I ever decided to visit. I initially shook this off as a ridiculous thought, but the more we talked the more I wanted to do something crazy like visit him in the UK.
Randomly one night I made a decision. That winter I would leave the country.
When I told my boyfriend, he was definitely a bit surprised. I don’t think he ever expected me to take him up on the travel offer. But once my mind was made up, I was doing it!
Thankfully I had been consciously saving any money I could from my retail job and was able to make this dream happen pretty much immediately. I planned my trip to coincide with January break at my university and managed to get about 2 weeks off from work. The flight was booked and plans made for me to arrive between Christmas and New Year’s.
The day arrived and I was terrified. I had never flown alone. I had never been out of the country. And I’d certainly never traveled halfway around the world to see some guy I’d really only known for a few months. But my decision had already been made!