A Taste for Adventure

By Alicia Pettis

Well this Escalated Quickly…On the Way to Australia.

I am now in Melbourne, Australia about to board my final flight to Darwin to join the travel group and all I can think is “well this escalated quickly…”

Not too long ago this was just an idea, then it was a fun research project, then it was real financially due to bookings and now it’s real because I am finally here…well almost.

Why am I doing this? So many, many, many reasons that it is hard to keep track. Honestly, it would be easier to have one reason. Like, this was an “eat, pray, love” journey to rediscover myself. Or, this was just a 20-something traveling with her free time and lack of responsibility. Or, just because I want to, so I am. It’s all of those and more. The exciting part is that I won’t know the reason until it’s over. That’s what makes it an adventure!

The days leading up to the trip were stressful because I was trying to be in two places at once. I was trying to get in Christmas parties and celebrating with my family. I was trying to finish up work projects and make sure everything would move on without me in the office. I was trying to finish my class and get through finals. And then there was packing for this trip and being excited about the adventures ahead in Australia. The anticipation and stress had me sick to my stomach, so much so that I was not eating.

No matter how many times I am in this situation, with too many things going on at once, I seem to always be overcome with the anticipation so much so that it stresses me out worrying that I am not prepared enough. Which I always find silly when I am sitting on the other side, having over-thought the details and worried about nothing. I can be too focused on the future that I forget to live in the moment. Too focused on the future that I’m not actually living my life.

When others gave me “best wishes” for this trip, they often conveyed that they wanted me to take this as an opportunity to just be and go with the flow. Don’t plan, don’t think, just be and do.

I’m going to try to honor these wishes, mostly because this is my wish for myself as well. As a 20-something in that awkward, just out of college, first job, first-just-about-everything, there is a lot of importance placed on planning for the future. One of my best friends affectionately calls this stage “b-dulting” as opposed to “a-dulting” because it still doesn’t feel like we are true adults with control and ownership over our lives.

This stage reminds me of that glorious period of time in life when you are just awkward and nothing more: middle school. When you’re going through so much change that you’re still clumsy and all over the place. That is what it feels like at this stage of life, too. Goodness, life is cyclical.

This trip however is not me “b-dulting,” this is me taking ownership over my life, asserting my dreams as possible and doing exactly what I want. It’s getting me outside of my comfy routine into a month of nothing but newness.

There will be uncomfortable moments along the way, I am sure of that. But, those are only learning moments, not stumbling blocks or regrets. There will be triumphs over fears and worries that will build my confidence and self-efficacy.

Not to mention, amazing experiences. Because this whole post is just me overthinking and anticipating the meaning of this trip…which I am not supposed to do.

So, here is the beginning to an adventure with less thinking and more doing! Promising, huh?!

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