My time left in Canada is only comprised of a handful of hours now. After 223 days of planning, I will board a plane for a year in Belgium. I’ve been able to avoid thinking the immediate nature of it up until today. Now my stomach is turning as I think about what to do with my last hours.
This trip is so much different than the last. I am simultaneously so much more and so much less prepared for this. I can still see the bus route in my head as we make our way to Gent, but I know that this time I will learn to make those trips alone. There are hundreds of Dutch words in my head, yet there are thousands more to learn. Above all, 90 days away from home is nothing compared to a year.
It’s easy to imagine being too scared to leave at all, just as its easy to imagine running as far and as fast as you can. As I sit here, I know that in reality it’s a combination of the two. It’s the fear and the excitement of the unknown and the uncertainty of leaving everything behind. I know that gaining this experience means that I have sacrificed a lot and that I will sacrifice more in the days to come.
This will be the longest I will have ever been away from home without a visit. There has never been more than a bus ride between myself and my family. Now, after 7 months spent Skyping and missing the man in my life, I will spend the next year Skyping and missing my family. I know what waits for me on the other side of this, but I’m ready to fast forward past the farewells. Over the next four days I’ll borrow bravery from the people around me. I’ll steal strength from the kind words of others and focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I know this is the right thing to do, but it doesn’t make the doing any easier.
There are a great many amazing adventures ahead. There are people waiting for me. There are experiences coming that I can’t dream of, just as I never dreamed that I would do any of this. I don’t know when I’ll have the time to write next, but I’ll send word when I can.
Safe travels friends and I’ll see you on the other side.