5 August 2013
It is quite stunning, how many things you do not expect to learn, yet do while traveling. I have quickly learned to despise the word “visa”, and I have only briefly been exposed to it. The Portuguese embassy has been the most difficult organization I have ever dealt with. They offer NO INFORMATION when you ask in person, on the phone, or on the internet. It is ridiculous how much time I have put into pursuing after this visa, yet it has not seemed to matter one little bit to the embassy. I am beginning to wonder how anyone ever gets into Portugal…
Trials come and trials go, yet I survive. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?
As I travel around from place to place, I have come to the realization that there is beauty everywhere. You do not need to journey to foreign lands to find joy and happiness. Happiness is where you are. I grew up in the United States and lived in the same small town in Idaho for nearly my entire 20 year life. I believed that I would only be able to truly understand myself and truly be happy if I was able to venture out into the world. To me that meant backpacking Europe, climbing Machu Pichu, and walking along the Great Wall of China. Yet, ironically I have never ‘had the time’ to go visit Glacier or Yellowstone, raft Hells Canyon, or hike many of the beautiful mountains in my own backyard. It is quite ironic that my dreams skipped over some of the most beautiful places in my homeland. When I left for Europe, it did make me happy. I felt all my dreams coming true as I boarded that airplane for London Heathrow.
What I did not realize was that I was actually, leaving what truly makes me happy behind; my home and my family. I do not regret coming to Europe. That is not what I am saying at all. It just took me four months of being here to understand that real joy in life comes from being with your family. Every moment I am here makes me realize how much I love and miss them. I cannot wait to come home and share all the wonderful experiences I have had with them. For there will be a lot of those experiences to tell; ones that even my blog has not captured.