The funny thing is I never expected to explore Paris, France on my own.
The entire experience and decision to go was a spontaneous one that began with a text from a friend who wanted to go. Before her message traveling to Paris was not even on
my radar. I was too comfortable living in my apartment to truly consider the idea of hopping on a plane and traveling across Europe. The conditions weren’t perfect as I had an exam the day before I had to leave and loads of homework and papers to complete within only a
couple of days. But there I was a few days before the trip, looking at my booked ticket for Paris, France filled with anxiety and trying to find any way to back out of actually going.
Some may think that choosing to move to Sweden for 6 months as my first time leaving home should have rendered any fear of traveling obsolete. However, I am not as fearless as some may believe me to be. I am often terrified and shaking with every step that I take. My breathing quickens and my heart often races with what I can hardly decipher as anxiety, excitement or both.
I have come to learn that I have two options when it comes to fear. I can either invited it into me as ruler of my life or control it and use it as fuel to keep pushing towards my goals. Fear is a state of mind that often flares up with new and challenging experiences.
During my solo traveling I had to overcome my anxiety by speaking to myself in a confident and calming voice even if that was the last thing I felt in the moment. The most important thing is not to avoid fear, but to learn how to master it so that fear can become nourishment for your self confidence.
Pushing through my fears has only led to life altering experiences. Over the course of four days I have become a different person. One who is more confident than ever of her ability to take on the world in new ways.
While my friend and I were both in Paris, we did not see each other until the night I was leaving, which is hilarious as she was the motivation behind why I went in the first place. What I have learned is that I was meant to go to Paris. I was meant to discover a new sense of confidence in my abilities to take care of myself and to learn just how much more I am capable of.
Whether you decide to travel outside of your home state, leave your city or explore a new country, the experience will grow you and change you. Don’t let challenges hinder change.
Love, Katelynn Rose