“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer

My store manager at Free People shared this quote with the team the other day, and immediately after hearing it my mind jumped to my semester abroad that is quickly approaching.

As the inevitable date of my departure from the United States and arrival in Florence (or Firenze, as it is spelled and pronounced in Italian) creeps up on me, I can’t help but wonder whether or not I’m ready to go. At first I assumed my readiness, or lack thereof, could be attributed to the fact that I’ve had a wonderful summer that I didn’t want to let go of. As August 28th, my date of departure, is now in the near future, I’ve realized it goes much deeper than that.

The thought of leaving my life behind– or at least putting it on pause for a few months– excites me, but frightens me more than anything. Am I ready? Is anyone ever ready for a big change like this? The thoughts of such a large and frightening change have been looming over my head for quite some time now, fogging my view of all the exciting things ahead. How can I be excited for daily espresso at an Italian cafe, and traveling around Europe, when the only thing I can think about is saying goodbye to my friends and family for four months?

I haven’t relayed these thoughts and feelings to anyone, for fear they’d question why I was even going abroad in the first place.

“How could you not be excited to go abroad?!” They’d wonder, the inflection of their voice making it clear they thought I’d be crazy not to be 100 percent excited.

Finally I mentioned what I’ve been feeling to someone who’s an avid traveler herself.

“There’s a word for this, you know.” She said.

Resfeber: the restless race of a traveler’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together.

“It’s not found in the English language. I think it’s Swedish.” she continued, after reading me the definition.

I didn’t care what language it is. All I cared was that someone somewhere put some type of word and definition to what I was feeling. Knowing I wasn’t alone in these thoughts comforted me. I have been looking forward to going abroad since I was in high school. After traveling to Italy as a 16 year old, I knew I had to come back for a semester during college.

I’ve realized I won’t be leaving my life behind and I won’t be putting it on pause. I will be creating a new life and new experiences for myself, and my life will be in motion more than ever as I spend the next semester exploring Europe and living in Italy. Frightening? Sure. Exhilarating? Definitely.

Now I can’t help but think of the Marissa Mayer quote. So here I am. Preparing to do something I’m not ready to do. Preparing to grow. Preparing to have my very own breakthrough moment of pushing through my doubts and doing what I’m not quite ready to do.
For some time now I’ve been debating the idea of starting a travel blog and ultimately decided to start a section on this blog dedicated to my travels. My hope is to share my experiences with my family and friends back home, while giving myself a place where one day I can look back at and reminisce about my trip.


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