The End of the Mini Amazing Race…
Travel. Travel alone. Travel with friends. Travel regardless of age. No matter what it takes, travel. Regardless of finances, find a way and make it happen. Get to know the world around you; be a tourist and be a resident. Put yourself out there to meet new people, hear their stories and get inspired. Traveling is kind of like getting a tattoo: your first time you are scared, filled with uncertainty of what the experience will be and if you will be able to stay strong until the end. However, once you go through the experience you will undoubtedly become addicted.
Let me be honest with you from the start though: you will be afraid and you should be afraid. Traveling alone and exploring new areas isn’t something your parents prepare you for. No matter how many blogs, reviews or trip advisor plans you read there is truly nothing capable of preparing you. You learn by doing, by making mistakes, asking others for advice and relying on your gut feelings to make those split second decisions.
In the last 20 days I have been on nearly every mode of transportation, visited more countries than I have states and have had experiences I would have never dreamed possible. In 20 days I have grown. Much like running a half marathon, the journey was challenging and there were moments where I questioned, “What the hell did I get myself into?” But at the end, I look back at it all and think, “I cannot believe I just did that.” A sense of accomplishment overcomes me as well as an immense gratitude for the people I have met and things that I have experienced. As my mini amazing race comes to a close I keep in mind a quote I saw when running my first half marathon, “The person who is finishing this race is not the same as the one who started it.” All it took was 20 days, 4 countries, 7 beautiful cities and countless amounts of new friends to teach me and change me in ways I never thought imaginable-without a doubt, I am hooked. So, as this chapter of the mini amazing race comes to a close I know that there are many more chapters to follow with new destinations, people and experiences.