Throughout life, there are always those moments that make you acutely aware you’re really still just a traveler. Like a true Go Girl travels the world, we all take that personal journey that may not always take us around the world but takes us to various places in our minds and personalities. For me, this reminder comes intensely this year as I realize that, in fact, I’m a senior in college. The bombardment of questions like “what are you doing next year?”, “what’s your major again?”, “and what will you do with THAT after college?”, come like a steady stream amidst the papers, reading assignments, and projects I still have to do for classes. So how does one find time for all this amidst the simultaneously mind-numbing and over-stimulating process of applying for service programs, jobs, or graduate schools? And somehow you’re supposed to accomplish this with poise, grace, and sleep.
One of the most important things to remember is that you are still just a traveler. That figuring things out as you go is what it’s all about, and that is never more true than when you’re away from home. As I think about all the travels I have done in my life, nothing has ever really gone according to the plan we inevitably make. Yes, the flights (hopefully) leave on time, and yes, the dinners at the local hotspot you find while wandering down the main street is good like so many people before you have reported. Yet, those little improvisational moments are sometimes the best for both the mind and the soul, no matter how they make your heart pound from adrenaline. That moment you walk down the center of the medina at midnight because the last train from Tangier was the only one you could catch after a hasty trip to the bus depot turned out to be fruitless when you thought everything would go smoothly. Or even that moment you walk into a Moroccan bar/restaurant and find yourself to be the only female, excluding the friends who came with you, and all eyes turn to you.
As I attempt to plan at least the next year of my life, the experience I’ve gained from my travel experience cannot be overemphasized. The times I felt lost feel exactly like what I’m feeling now that I’m attempting to figure out what in the wide world I’ll be doing with my life, so the saying goes. But even more than that, I can offer some advice: don’t be afraid to take those risks. Barring anything that could cause physical harm, they’ll actually turn out to be a lot more interesting than if you take the low road. Go out, meet people! Who cares if you end up spending seven hours talking to a Saharawi in his shop in Chefchaouen? Those will probably be some of the most interesting moments you’ll have. But you don’t have to limit yourself to the big things. Go for the small ones too! Take that road you always see on your way home and have always wondered where it goes. And better yet, do it without a map! Life is all about those unscripted moments of discovery, so go for it. Be a Go Girl 🙂