Prior to leaving for my first ever trip, the only thing on my mind was getting homesick. I was worried. This was going to be a huge step for me. I was going on a plane to Greece all by myself. At first I didn’t think I’d be able to cope with being separated from my parents by such a vast distance. I was so used to living at home. Flying thousands of kilometres away to the other side of the world seemed pretty extreme for a seventeen year old. The whole week prior to departure I was anxious and worried. But I had dedication, and what I was more scared of, was being too scared to go for it, perhaps resulting me in wanting to give up and come back home. I definitely did not want to let that happen. I knew I had to force myself to adapt to a completely new environment in order to get to the next level of independence. But that was not the only factor. My main reason for dedication to this task was because I was in love. Yes, that’s right, I was in love with somebody from the other side of the world. And you can see why it was important that I needed to be able to cope with living outside my normal living standards. After all, if I didn’t give it a try, I would have never known if it would work out. I would have missed out on one of the most valuable experiences one can have, and I would have a very important question remain unanswered, possibly with regrets.
There is also the travelling itself that I didn’t want to miss out on. I had done a lot of research on the topic of solo travelling in the last few weeks leading up to this trip. It has become an ultimate life ambition, one that would give me fulfillment in life if I pursued it. It may just have been my calling that I was about to soon discover. If I can make this first step by going to Greece, I’ll be able to find out. It’s my passion; I don’t intend to let anything stop me.
Another important motivator I should mention is my friends from the internet forum I was part of. It’s the place that has thus far, been responsible for a lot of my achievements, most significantly when it came to travelling, meeting new people and making new friends, which helped further expand on my social skills. I have since met some of my most important friends who play a significant role in my life. God knows where I’d be without that place.
I wanted to stay in Greece for at least six months, perhaps even a year or longer depending on how things go. Within this year, I wanted to explore a few European countries. But most of all, I needed to go and pay a visit to the one I was in love with. She was from Latvia. I needed to learn how to get around as an independant individual and have a great year of my life, doing what I love doing, finding out who I am and seeing myself fitting into the world.
Along with mixed feelings of nostalgia, nervousness, anxiety and worry, there was one major obstacle. My parents. The biggest obstacle, in the way of the most important task. My need was to travel to Latvia to go and see a girl. My parents had a big problem with letting me go there on my own, in a country I don’t speak the language of or have any relatives in. My dad in particular, is possibly one of the most negative-minded people I know. You can count on that I had lots of conflict over the matter. That said, I did appreciate my dad’s concern, but I had to prove that I could do this. I love my parents more than anything, and I am grateful to know that they do want what’s best for me, even through acknowledging they can be a bit much. I know how to look past that, and see the important part, which is that they love me. And as such, sometimes you just have to go to extreme measures to prove that you can do something. I had to go and see if this relationship was going to work out.
I was hoping that I would be able to go, regardless of what my parents had said. Infact, I knew from the start that I was going to do it. I had faith in myself. And ever since I made that move, my parents have since grown to appreciate my efforts. Truth is, they had to let me go. I was no longer their “baby” child. We are born, we grow up, we grow apart and start off on our own endeavours.
As for the relationship itself, it didn’t work out in the end. Not that I regret it; it was one of the most enriching experiences and valuable lessons for me. One that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
That first trip, and that first move, was the first stage in my life where I started growing into a man, knowing that I had to face these challenges. I believed it was the point where I could be responsible, independent and adult enough to do things on my own. I am not the kind of person to give up. I was determined to be a new, responsible, independent man in the world, who has many goals, ambitions, hopes and dreams. Not only was I willing to do this as a part of growing up, I was also willing and determined to do this as a personal passion and being my own individual self.