Inspired by my fellow travel-enthusiast Turkish friend, Barkin, in his reflective post here, I decided to answer the most popular question I’ve been asked since I’ve returned from expat life: How was your year?
2015 started out a great giant question mark. Have you ever leaped into a decision where you 100% did not know what the outcome would be? In retrospect, it was the boldest decision I’ve made thus far. I was leaving a home, friends, and jobs… for a new country where I’d not know a soul, didn’t have a job, and had to live in a hostel because I had no home on arrival. I didn’t know what 2015 was going to bring. 2015 was was either going to be the biggest flop of my life, or pave the way for some of my greatest memories.
For months after I graduated last year, I lamented to everyone within earshot that I’d be perfectly happy abandoning corporate America at the ripe old age of 21 for “a move to Dublin, my favorite little city in the world.” I kept repeating that I’d be perfectly happy making pennies working in some cafe, where I could travel to new places on the weekends. It was dreamy, and of course I wasn’t thinking of the negatives or consequences of making, like, no money… but if I didn’t go then, on the visa that I did, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten another chance to expat it up. I knew I had to go. So I leaped head first into the dark waters, as one sometimes should when faced with a terrifying decision.
Luckily, with a little help from my family and new friends, I survived. 2015 was the year I made new friends from Ireland, Turkey, Canada, France, and more. 2015 was the year I changed a lot of my views on Texas, the States, and the world. It was the year I grew opinions, and the courage to express them. 2015 was the year I X’ed the nice Irish boy for the cute naughty boy who I knew was no good because #yolo. It was also the year I decided to not give A FAK about others’ opinions and do things like be the girl who dances in the middle of the dance floor till 5 am with the greatest friends in the world. I learned to further speak up for myself, to be more brave, and to be even stronger.
I’m leaving 2015 with a clearer focus on who I want to be. In his auto-biography, Dick van Dyke continues to reiterate the point who do I want to be? Instead of being content with who we are… even in old age, he continues to reflect and determine who he wants to become. Sure, I made mistakes this year. I lost my temper, and maybe I lied a time or two, too… but tomorrow is a new day (A NEW YEAR!) and I plan on growing each and every day. I want to be kinder, more helpful, and to never forget the fiery spirit within that motivates me to travel, adventure, and wander in awe of this beautiful world we live in.
Thanks for reading! See y’all in 2016!