Traveling somewhere new is, without fail, exhilarating and unnerving all at once. I’ve been to the UK and Europe plenty of times, for school and leisure, but for the first time in my life I’ve packed up a year’s worth of clothing & mementos, said goodbye to my childhood home for at least a year-maybe even longer-and begun my transition to a city I’ve never visited before in my life. I did manage to keep both my suitcases under the weight limit, though!
I realize millions of people have packed up and left their hometowns in pursuit of an unclear dream; from the beginning of mankind to now humans have moved, willingly or not, in hopes of bettering their lives and those of people they care for. I am incredibly fortunate in that my choice was voluntary; unlike the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees escaping a civil war by any means necessary, I simply wanted to move abroad and study. If, like me, you’ve been confused by the stories flooding in, Mashable created a very interesting & heartbreaking article showing the refugee breakdown in map & text form. Check it out. Anyhow, my life has been privileged enough where I could afford to take a year off between earning my Bachelor’s Degree and beginning my Master’s program. I have parents who are supportive and able (and willing, on top of that!) to visit me while I’m gone. Cousins from both sides of my family live within a few hours’ flight from Aberdeen. So as frightened and unsure as I may be, this is actually quite the easy move.
Don’t get me wrong, my feelings of uncertainty and trepidation are still valid. That others are enduring more hardship than I am does not diminish the fact that I, as a person, am scared. Excited as well, of course, but still scared. And if you are ever in a situation where you feel something-fear, happiness, loneliness-I hope you never think that you don’t deserve to feel that way. Emotions and feelings are an integral part of our human nature; to experience such sensations is such a blessing because it means we are still here to endure it all. All I ask is that as you allow yourself to feel whatever is coursing through you right now, you try and find the light in it all. Because our experiences, be it moving to a new country or dealing with a loss, accepting a new job or even having a bad visit with the dentist, have a place in our lives. We may never know what that place or lesson is (other times it’s painfully obvious) but I believe there is very rarely an occasion that has no significance in our cosmos.