10 things I learned in Europe

Hello, It's been a little while.

But I'm back.

This summer my family and I took a month long trip to Europe and did my best to stay reflective while on the trip. So today, I've gotten out my big trusty journal and I'm going to go through the main lessons I learned. Let's begin.

The world is so much bigger than you think.

Obviously, in diameter, the world is bigger than you think. You realize, when you start exploring it, how many different streets, shops, and stairs there are. But, what I'm speaking about specifically is, there is so many more people, adventures, and conversations than we, or at least I, realize.

When you're living your day to day life, you began to expect the expected, and sometimes it's really nice to be able to count on the expected. But, when you begin to move in the world, you find the things yet to experience and adventures yet to have are so much more expansive. When I realized how much I've yet to experience, its freeing to know, i'll never run out of new things to do and see.

Familiar is lovely.

Living in the same place all my life, I get tired of the same palm-tree-lined streets, rotating restaurants for every special occasion, or parking lots bordering the beach. I have become so familiar with where I live and grew up and I feel a incessant longing for difference every day. But, being gone for two months in new parts of the world, I think there is something lovely about craving strawberries and knowing exactly where to go to get them.

I learned on my trip that I can live anywhere, as long as I know where I live. If I live in a city and I know my neighborhood, I can still fulfill my desire for wanting to see something new but I also know where I can get strawberries.

I think it was a good lesson for me to learn that I do like familiarity more than I thought.

I am in love with humanity.

I realized how easy it is to fall in love, so to speak, with people you've never met. I developed such a fascination with humanity itself. Spending the past months surrounded by so many different people that I don't know, watching them interact and move in the world, I've realized I love watching people and seeing their personality traits.

In Maui, I don't typically have the opportunity to watch new people, whereas even just riding on the subway for 10 minutes, you see someone dancing with an accordion or drawing portrait of a stranger or simply acting in a way you've never experienced before.

My soul thrives when surrounded by beauty.

If I'm somewhere that I find beautiful, my soul will be happy. Maui's landscape doesn't resonate with me and its more difficult because of this to thrive where I live- but objectively, I can see how others see it as beautiful.

Anywhere I can walk down the street and observe beautiful things and be able to take a left and cut through a park I didn't even know was there and bare witness to a dozen marbled arches and merge only 5 minutes behind schedule, that gets my creative juices flowing and thriving.

I have a hard time being alone.

In Europe I noticed I had a difficult time being alone in public.

Feeling anxious when I am alone in public probably stems from many places. I struggle with social anxiety, I am homeschooled and spend much of my days working by myself, and I listen to many podcasts and follow current issues, opening my small world to the bigger world of news, such as hearing about the most recent kidnapping in New York, etc.

Coming back home, I've had strong intentions to start taking myself to parks or to eat out alone, in order to feel more comfortable, because I want to live this life that I've envisioned, which includes being able to set out on my own.


Europe was so good for me to be able to explore and see those places I've pictured in my head and seen photos of for so long. I will never forget the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle or the Trevi fountain glittering in the sunlight and i'm glad these moments were with my family.

I also love that now whenever someone says 'I'm going to Paris', I feel like I've joined the "gone to Europe" club and I can the picture the streets they will walk.

I truly loved so many things about Europe and I really believe, if I work hard I hope to one day live somewhere in Europe.

But, that's not to discount being present and content where I am now- that's something i'm trying to work on, to engage with my surroundings when it's not always my first choice, like going to the beach.

Being able to go to Europe and picture myself there helped me realize it could be my home, possibly in two years, when I graduate. Realizing moving to Europe is my end goal, there's work to be done now. I have to exercise drive and intention to achieve the vision in my head of where I'm trying to go, and hopefully I can focus and make it happen.

Europe was an inspiration. A rest & revival for my heart and soul. So many moments were absolutely enchanting, and every moment (even the challenging ones) I look back on with incredible fondness. I am deeply and forever grateful that I had the opportunity to go early in my life and to my parents who showed me the world, you deserve a million thank you's.

Thanks for listening to a few of my lessons about my trip of a lifetime.

I'll see you soon,

dev :)