It's me! I mean, you, only it's you from the future. At this exact moment, you are traveling along the coast of France with a bunch of idealistic young adults. You wake up early and set your goals. You challenge yourselves, sometimes in frighteningly dangerous and unnecessary ways, and while you all mean well, loosen up a bit. Enjoy where you are but don't stress so much. Allow yourself to be 18, traveling Europe and experiencing the world for the first time as a young adult. Go ahead.
|A Sunday excursion at Mont San Michel with two of my travel mates, Patricia and Miyuki in February 2005.|
You might be kind of bummed right now, since it's freezing, you don't speak French, and you are on the coast fund raising in bitter winds. But you know, that time in France will end. Your year traveling around Europe will end, you will come back to America, but you will never be the same. Still to this day, you will find yourself wanting to travel, to learn, to experience the world first hand, so don't feel bad about not wanting to come back and go to college. You will, but you will never completely shake off that urge. You will fight with yourself for the entirety of the next decade, over your desire for adventure vs. the expectations from society to "build up a career" and "a strong financial base" (aka make money) and be a sensible adult.
Good news and bad news; you will do a little bit of both, but neither completely well.
But for now, just enjoy it. And while you're at it, be a little gentler with yourself. You are experiencing each day for the first time just like everybody else.
Wishing you grand adventures from the future,