17 September 2015
It is morning. Misty light filters into the small square room from a gauzy sort of curtain. I can hear the lazy early morning traffic zipping by mechanically. It is nine thirty in the morning and I am in Athens beside my sleeping friend in the room of an apartment that I found on Airbnb. I’ve never been one of those travellers who marvels at the passing of time:
Can you even believe it? That just yesterday I was in America and now I’m in Europe?! I can’t even believe it.
Whenever I hear that, I’ll think:
Well, duh. You booked a ticket months ago, packed a bag and now you’re here – this isn’t Ripley worthy stuff, here!
That being said, I am marvelling a bit at this passage. This trip that I’ve dared to dream about – to travel Europe with no reason for it except to please my bosom buddies Love and Passion and, that devilish rogue, Sense of Adventure – for about a year, plotting dreamily with my friend about oh-the-place-we’ll-go after we graduate and are released into this wild world. And so we plotted. Making grand plans of sweeping visits and romantic road trips, sightseeing and wine drinking, beach lazing and book reading. And for the longest time, that’s all they ever were – plots. There came a time as graduation passed and the Spokane summer started its sweaty dance with Sirs Hot and Dry when I thought:
Will this trip even happen?
So now, as I lay on my rented bed that, as Laura would put it:
Is harder than Jesus’s tomb,
I find myself marvelling at the fact that I am here. I have plans all the way until the seventeenth of December that take me through the ancient streets of Rome, the fashionable avenues of Berlin, the wondrous halls of Milan, the food-laden markets of Budapest, winding a path through Eastern and Western Europe, all the way up to the incredible wonders of Paris.
I marvel because of luck, because of privilege, because of courage that it took to get here. I marvel for the potential, for the learning, for the teaching that the world can offer me and that I can offer to the world. I marvel because I’ve made Europe my new university. I marvel because I am so small and these places are so big – they hold a huge chunk of the world’s history and I can only look at so much of it. I marvel because I fit my backpack into my carryon yesterday for my one-carryon-only flight. I marvel because I ate two croissants one morning without shame. I marvel because of the beauty and pride and love I see every day. I marvel because I can see beauty and pride and love every day. I marvel at time.
And now, I am thankful. For being here, on this rock hard bed in the middle of Athens, my friend by my side and my wonder in my pocket.