Take a Leap: Start an Awesome Adventure
You’re standing atop a cliff. Far below you is a bight clear turquoise pool of water. You’re going to jump, but you’re nervous. You can feel your heart pounding in your ears. A light breeze ruffles your hair and carries with it the scent of the fresh water below you, the soil between your toes, and a hint of flowers and foliage. You have seen others jump from exactly where you’re standing. “It’s safe” you tell yourself. “No one else got hurt”. Behind you, your friends urge you to go for it. “Just jump” they say. Marshaling your courage you take a couple extra steps back, run, and leap out into space. For a moment you’re flying, everything goes quiet as every one of your senses focus in on this moment of freedom. Then the wind is rushing past your ears as you plummet towards that cool crystalline water.
That’s me. Only… the jump is just a metaphor. For the past couple weeks, I have wanted to jump. To take a leap. The leap I’ve wanted to take is a trip, an adventure. I’ve been thinking about going backpacking through Europe solo. My mind has been turning every aspect of that potential trip over and over inside, trying to figure out a way to convince me not to do it. Today though, I took a leap. I bought the tickets! The best way that I’ve found to go on an adventure is to commit to it, and jump. You can figure out the details on the way down.
Can I afford it? What happens if… Do I have what it takes? Is now the right time? Shouldn’t I plan out every detail first? Shouldn’t I actually know how to speak a language other than English!?
These are all thoughts that have been going through my head recently. In mid-June I will be taking two months and backpacking all over Europe. All I’ve been thinking about since deciding to go has been what I need to do in order to make this trip happen. My first objective was the cost. How much would it cost for me to travel through Europe for one month? How about two? It’s going to be prime travel time in the summer so it’s going to cost a bit more but I decided there is no time like the present, so I jumped for it.
I’ve always been of the mind that things will play out as they will. I’m not going to plan this trip down to every minute detail. I’m not going to make an exact itinerary for all the activities of every day of the trip. I’m going to go with the flow. I’ll of course have a couple things that I absolutely must do in each Country and city, but for the most part adventures will develop as the adventure progresses. As I meet fellow travelers and have once in a life time experiences. The biggest challenge for me may be the language barrier. Let’s just say I was never a savant in the language department. In school one day, my French teacher walked into class and told the group of parents including my own “I’m stuck with your kids again this year”. I didn’t quite excel in that area. But that will all be part of the adventure!
I thought long and hard about how much planning should go into this adventure. Should I calculate exactly how much I will have to spend? I decided to get a rough estimate of how much, and have a cushion to fall back on.
Should I book plane or train tickets between all of my planned destinations ahead of time? I decided that it’s not worth the headache, and the extensive hours that would take. As far as I can tell, it will not be significantly more expensive to buy transit as I go.
Can I do it having admittedly no knowledge of foreign language? I decided I can. If I flounder in certain areas, so be it. There are plenty of resources these days to translate and provide guidance.
I’m doing it because I want to. And because the life experience will be well worth it. All the hard work that is being put in now and over the next couple months, to allow me the freedom to do so will be worth it. I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve never been on such a long trip abroad. And I’ve sure as hell never gone on such a long trip alone. But I’m wicked excited for it! I’m excited to see more of what’s out there and meet like minded travelers. Most of all, I’m excited to share the adventure with you all here. The best way to go on adventure is to jump in feet first.
Have you ever been to Europe? Have you ever been on such a long trip? Comment with your recommendations for places I should see and tips you might have!
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