I’ve been spending some time reflecting on the past year and it seems fitting to start the new one with a look back at the last trip of the year.
I can say that 2017 was a year in which I threw my normal perfectionist-driven caution to the wind and I did one thing I had always craved to do – travel.
I have a hard time categorizing my fall trip to Europe. It was an adventure, a family trip, a discovery quest, a time to put things to rest, to let go and cleanse the emotional blockage – as a friend described it, “a Soul Poop.”
Planning the Trip
We have been talking about a family trip to Europe for years. Things never seemed to work out – we didn’t have the money or there were other life priorities that needed to be dealt with, until 2017.
After I came back from Thailand we decided we were going to finally do this trip. It seemed a crazy and irresponsible thing to do when I didn’t have a job and had just come back from a month abroad … but everything else was right. So why not do it?
Our route was largely decided by the need to get to Warsaw for my mom’s 60th birthday party and the fact that Klara and I refused to spend our whole time in Warsaw. A city we’ve been too many times and one that came with a load of familial obligations and strings. We ended up deciding on a route that took us through Portugal, Spain, to Warsaw and Amsterdam, before heading home to Toronto.
No trip is ever exactly what you think it will be, but I would not trade the trip to Europe with my family for a billion dollars.
It was everything I had hoped for and nothing I expected. We bounded as a family and made new memories. We explored new places, ones that we never considered as a must see destination. We dealt with some emotional things from 2016, got some closure and made plans for the future.
I’m going to share a post for each destination in the coming week, but first lets talk about what I learned from all my travel in 2017.
What I Learned About Myself
Not everything in life is a lesson, but everything in life is a lesson.
I learned that travel doesn’t change you, at the core you remain the same. Travel can make you more comfortable with dealing with uncertain situations. It helps you to shift your priorities in life and open you to a new way of living. Turns out I can happily live out of a suitcase wearing the same 3 outfits and a small studio apartment is all I really need in life.
I learned that travel is not going to magically give you the happiness you want in life. You still come home at the end, to the same life you left behind. But, travel can open your eyes to appreciating what you do have and make you realize that you can make the changes you want to have the life you want.
I learned that you need to accept some things for that they are and you need to accept yourself for who you are. Accepting your kinks, your weirdness and our imperfection is important in starting on your journey of self-growth. It’s not about becoming a better version of yourself, but growing as a person.
Blogs in the Europe 2017 Solo Poop Series:
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Algarve, Portugal
- Seville, Spain
- Madrid, Spain
- Warsaw, Poland
- Amsterdam, Netherlands