some reflections

Posted by D on Monday, July 30, 2012

"Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep - it's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap!"
- Wicked, Defying Gravity
A little overwhelmed and unsure how to feel right now. Had my last day at the office today. The last couple of months have been entirely surreal, to say the least. Was it really only four months ago that I was musing whether [the events of this summer] is real life? Three and a half months ago that there was much uncertainty? And less than three days later, filled with resolve?

Three months ago, moving to a foreign continent by myself, to a country whose language I didn't speak, was the hardest thing I'd had to do yet. Now, it feels like leaving this beautiful place is just as difficult, if not more so. I think I've really fallen in love with this country. It's been an absolutely phenomenal experience. 

I remember leaving work on either my second or third day, sometime past 6pm, and realizing as I walked to the bus stop that I was truly happy and satisfied with work. I'd hoped that the feeling would be sustained - and it has been. Today, I left at around the same time as that day, feeling the same passion and enjoyment. It's a bit bittersweet to be leaving, and I find myself almost a little reluctant to be doing so. The work was great, and the people were even greater. I'm really going to miss everyone. 

Three months ago, I'd never been to Europe before, nor had I traveled to another country - much less another continent - by myself. Three months ago, I hadn't really lived on my own or cooked for myself before (let's face it - residence = 3 meals/day provided, cleaning lady once a week, friends 24/7... that's not really independence). Now I've done all that, plus navigated 5 countries on weekend trips. The dichotomy is kind of astounding. This summer has seen an insane amount of 'first's. 

I'd arrived as a curious 19 year old, wide eyed and naive. I'm leaving as an even more curious 20 year old, still kind of lost and wide eyed, but maybe a little less naive (hopefully). I've been fairly fortunate this summer. At the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation session, J warned us about the curve - of starting out at a high and super excited about being in a new place, and then hitting the depression low. My second last night in Canada, I said to M that I was fully expecting to fall down the hardest I've ever fallen before, but if I was able to get back up, well. S had mentioned the lows he'd experienced last summer in Geneva. 

And sure, not every moment was sunshine and butterflies, but luckily, even the lowest moment wasn't that low, relative to other experiences. The worst that happened this summer was probably losing a toenail due to subungual hematoma and getting an infection on the same toe (needed antibiotic/corticosteroids) and having to cancel trips to Berlin and Basel+Munich as a result. But at the end of the day, #firstworldproblems.

Hopefully this is only the first of many travels. Falling in love with new places, it's kind of inevitable that leaving to continue on to the next big adventure will be bittersweet. But hey, I'll take it. 

Here's to more phenomenal experiences and incredible sights and remarkable people! I'm beyond excited. 


  1. oh wow - leaving is always unimaginably difficult. I'm sure your adventures to come will be beyond incredible, too. Just keep an open mind and they surely will be!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, your blog is gorgeous! Can't wait to read more and find out more about your trips!


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