Hello, it’s me.

Some of you may have forgotten about me while I’ve been gone. Or maybe not, considering I inundated your Instagram and Facebook feeds with pictures of my adventures. Sorry about that, I have only wanted to share my exciting adventures with the world.

But I am finally returning home for the summer. Truth be told, I can hardly wait to be back home where I can speak the language and everything is familiar. Despite my excitement, I will admit that I am a little apprehensive about returning home. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I have changed as a person since the last time you saw me a year ago. No, I haven’t turned into a completely new person. I am still the same person you remember me as.

Royalty on top of Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland
Royalty on top of Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland

My time abroad has been full of many memories. I have been fortunate enough to travel to lands that some people only dream of. I made friends from many nationalities and have frequently been the minority in lots of places. There is more to the world that my small hometown and I am thankful that I have been able to realize that at such a young age. I am not simply a citizen of my home country – I am a citizen of the world.

Ireland
Ireland

After having seen the sun rise on the other side of the world, I will never be completely satisfied with staying at home again. There is an entire globe out there that I want to explore. That I need to explore.

Carnival in Venice, Italy
Carnival in Venice, Italy

Which is why when I talk about my travels upon my return, please don’t misinterpret my excitement as boasting. Yes, I am proud of what I have done and seen but I do not intend to gloat over you. I don’t want to make you feel inferior because you haven’t done the things I have. If anything, I want to help inspire you to travel the world. When we are conversing and I bring up something that happened in a foreign land, I don’t do it with any ulterior motive. I simply want to share my life with you in the same way that you share your life with me.

That being said, there will be some things that you simply cannot understand. These include things such as being stranded in Croatia, sleeping in an airport with strange people yelling at you because of your ethnicity, having to stand on three hour train rides because you don’t have a reservation, staying up until 5 in the morning to watch the city from the castle, and waking up at 5 in the morning to catch an early train to the other side of the continent. This isn’t a common lifestyle for everybody but it has been my life for the past year and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Prost to Oktoberfest! - Munich, Germany
Prost to Oktoberfest! – Munich, Germany

Therefore, when I come home and we visit about our lives, please don’t get upset when I mention my travels. They are as much a part of me now as the heart that beats inside my chest. So please express some happiness for the time in my life that I have just experienced. Because I can guarantee that I want to hear about your life just as much.

Carnival in Venice, Italy
Carnival in Venice, Italy

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