So that’s the end of the trip. 16 days, 4 countries, three trains, one ferry and a ton of perspective gained.
I really don’t know what I was thinking would come out of this journey. I went into it both nervous and excited.
I worried I would be lonely. I was.
I looked forward to some peace and quiet. I found it.
I wanted to meet new people. I did.
More than anything I wanted to venture outside my comfort zone in search of inspiration for my writing and for my life. And venture I did.
There was no great epiphany on this trip though. No moment I can point to where I suddenly had everything figured out. But there were little moments all along the way that lead me to this understanding.
What I have is enough. In fact, it is more than enough.
I have said many times over the past few years that I am looking for who I am outside of being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a writer, a friend, a colleague. But I realize now that each of those labels together makes me who I am.
I can’t be me without being all of those things.
During the 16 days on my own, I missed some aspect of every one of the roles that I play in life. I missed being a mother most of all – no surprise – as every single day my heart ached for my babies.
I wanted them to see the sights I was seeing. I wanted them to enjoy the food I was eating. I wanted to hold their hands on the streets of these great cities and watch them take it all in.
And now as I fly home to them full of stories to share and souvenirs to give them I do so with a big smile knowing that I am now a better person for having been away from them.
My new perspective is this. Life is short. Adventure is important. But there is something to be said for the comforts of home and what waits for us there.
I found inspiration on this trip. Inspiration that will help me as a writer yes – and that has been incredibly fulfilling.
But most importantly…I am inspired to be a better person in the life that I am heading home to.