Everyone has their own journey that they have embarked on, to come out the other side a changed person. For someone whose passion is travel, of course it had to be on one of the greatest adventures a 20 year old could possibly had.
Now that I am almost 22, I look back on the year 2013 and realized that the year that I had was the biggest one I had in my life. I still feel as though I am the same person, but a little less naive, and a lot less judgmental.
As I look back on that journey I had, I grew into myself as not only a woman, but as a person who looked at the world as a much smaller and less intimidating place.
At the time, East Africa was the destination. Or mainly Kenya, although I was going to end up in Tanzania as well, and almost mistakenly made it to Uganda. I was to go to Kenya and work for a non-profit as well as volunteer at a school and a hospital. What an interesting journey I had.
To top it all off, I was to move from Sunny California to Washington D.C. to finish my bachelors degree and open myself up to more opportunities of what I thought was what I wanted to do.
And as I boarded the plane headed to JFK, London, and then Nairobi, I had no idea that taking such a journey alone would change the little girl inside into a grown woman.
Little did I know, as I boarded the plane from Nairobi, to London, to Dallas, that I would cry the entire flight home. Not necessarily because I was sad, and maybe I was a little bit, but because my first journey of self discovery was coming to an end.
And the main lesson I learned, was that change is never a bad thing. Change can be painful, intimidating, and scary. But change is many more things. Opportunity, a new start, self discovery.
I encourage every one of you to embark on your own journey, wherever it may be. Sometimes, you may come back finding the one person you were always looking to be.