Hello fellow reader,
My name is Samuel. I am a 22-year-old university student who enjoys watching TED talks, listening to Taylor Swift, and going to parties asking other students there to teach me about economics. I’m leaving my hometown of Calgary for a three week journey to Europe, and this is my travel blog.
During the weeks leading up to my trip several people, with the best of intentions, have approached me and asked me something along the lines of “Aren’t you excited? Europe would be so fantastic! It would be a nice break to finally get to relax and be away from school for a while!” And I fully agree with them. I do think that this trip would be a nice break, and it is certainly a fantastic opportunity for me (and I realize that not everybody has a chance to visit somewhere they dream of for 3 weeks). And yes, I am quite excited for Europe. But if I had to be fully honest, I’m more terrified of this trip than anything.
For me the idea of traveling comes with several decisions, and possibly regrets. What if I forgot to pack something important? What if I miss out on something amazing? How do I avoid looking like a typical tourist? Should I get the chocolate gelato or vanilla? And this is what terrifies me; the decisions. Europe is so full of options and opportunities that I don’t know how to deal with it at once. I am worried about making wrong choices, of letting others down, and of regretting the little imperfections I’ve made along the way. I know what you are thinking, “Sam, how could you possibly screw this up?” Believe me, when I get asked this, I somehow let my actions find some unexpected and very satisfying answer to this particular question.
Another confession: the idea of writing a blog terrifies me too. I’m not that worried if nobody reads my blog. If that happens, I will be a little disappointed, but not terrified. If I had to be honest, I very rarely even read my friends’ travel blogs…apologies sent to those of my friends who write travel blogs. I’m sure many people do read them, I just don’t happen to be one of them. Anyways, I diverge from the topic. No, I’m more worried if people do actually read it. Would I regret writing the things that I wrote later on? Would my friends and family think I’m insane? What if my children find this and use it to blackmail me in the future? It might sound crazy, but I genuinely did worry about how others might view my blog a long time before I decided to start it.
Why would I be doing something that I’m terrified in? I wanted to start a blog partly because of a professor I had in university who encouraged me to keep a journal of my travels on this particular trip. I was also partly inspired by the “Thoughts from Places” videos on the VlogBrothers’ YouTube channel, which shown me that there is value to sharing our insights. Others also encouraged me to try new things on this trip, and this is certainly a new experience for me. And finally, I decided to share my ideas openly because I am terrified of sharing my ideas openly. It would certainly be an interesting experiment, and allow me to face some of my fears directly.
So with that, I begin my journey. Both throughout Europe and through journaling or blogging. Both actions scare me, but it’s always nice to know at least I’m challenging myself by jumping in head first fearless.