It’s funny how much our minds can wander, we’re used to multi-tasking, thinking of what’s next instead of living in the now. While up in the air I wasn’t thinking about meeting my roommate, seeing my dorm room for the first time or what my first view of Greece would look like (hopefully similar to the one seen in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). As I stared at the clouds I thought about a person (who shall remain nameless) and the conversation we had two months before I left for Greece.
When I told him I was going to Greece he scoffed at me. Seeing as he wasn’t from the United States and someone who encouraged plenty of others to study abroad and explore other countries I was taken back, surprised.
He looked at me, the way only a person with higher authority can, glasses pushed slightly down the brim of his nose, eyes boring into mine and accused me of not knowing about the ‘Greek crisis.’
He asked me, after a long lecture of why I shouldn’t be going to Greece and how ridiculous I was being, why I was going?
What did I expect to experience? What was my intent? What was I going to learn?
I stared at him, flabbergasted, and couldn’t think of an answer because I didn’t have one. I wanted to study political science. I wanted to go to Greece. Neither were good answers and as I sat on the plane, land slowly becoming visible, his voice entered my head again.
What did I expect to experience?
Everything. I wanted to grow but you cannot explain growth to a person who doesn’t know the inner workings of your mind. I’m shy. I always have been an observer, a people watcher. I wanted to go to Greece and let go of this fear I have about everything in my life. A journalist should be able to adapt wherever they are, from country to country, from town to town. I came to Greece to prove to myself one day I might be able to move away from New York, somewhere the language is foreign and the land is unfamiliar.
My night in Turkey was a hiccup, a test of my strength to survive and thrive on my own. As the plane landed, the seat belt sign sounded off and the flight attendants said goodbye, the nervousness and off-kilter feeling I felt from yesterday washed away.
I was in Greece. My feet were firmly planted in another country. I was by myself but I had never felt so safe and excited before. Six weeks would be a challenge but one I was willing to take.