In the course of one’s life, there are always some people who affected us more than others. Some of them may stay very good friends, and some others are just passing by for a very short time, and then we never hear of them again.
But they still left their mark on their way.
There is such a person in my life that I’ll always remember of. In 2013, I was living in Kyoto in a house shared with other foreigners for a couple of weeks. They were all awesome people, and we had a great time together visiting the amazing temples and castles that this beautiful city has to offer.
And there was that girl around my age who I was sharing a room with. We were only seperated by a tiny paper door, without any lock on it. She was going to stay in Japan for three months to study Japanese in a school near where we were living.
Everytime we were eating dinner, I saw her taking some kind of medication. I, being a curious person, was always wondering what it was for, but it was also none of my business, so I never asked. I didn’t have too, because she told me why on my last week of staying in the house.
She was epileptic. The absence type of seizures, not the convulsive ones. She told me that sometimes she was afraid she might actually have absences everyday without knowing it, because she usually can’t notice if she does one. I thought about it a lot, what it would be like to never know if you’re going to be unable to control your body for an unknown laps of time. Just the thought made me anxious, so I can’t imagine what it’s really like.
She said she was also slightly autistic. She needed reassurance, a routine and a nice environment to live in. She was talking to her mother everynight on Skype, chatting about life, about her anxieties. But all in all, she was doing pretty well.
And then, I thought about how some of my friends back home said they could never do what I was doing, even if they really wanted to. They said they could never, at 19 years old, go on a trip of almost three months in a country where they almost don’t speak the language and live with host families found on internet.
But those friends were usually perfectly healthy, without any health or mental issues, and not having to take medication everyday. So, what is holding them back? The society who dictates that you should finish school as soon as you can and then get a job immediately? Or the fear of the unknown?
The girl who I shared my room with in Kyoto had the guts that most people don’t have to do what she dreamed of. Even if it was hard for her. Some people might have thought she would never achieve such a thing, but she did it. It was admirable.
I used her as an example more than once to encourage people to do what they really want to, but I had never put it here, on my blog.
So today, I’m addressing to all of you who want to travel but are being held back by something. Is it the money? Then work your a** off. Make your own money, even if it’s in a boring part-time job. Using your money that you earned the hard way and spending it on someting important to you is always a good feeling. For some reasons, the people I met in Japan always thought my parents were paying that trip for me, but it wasn’t the case at all. I was pretty proud to say it was all MY money that I had earned all by myself.
But if it’s not the money that is holding you, what is it? Is it the society? The pressure put on your shoulders to finish school as soon as possible? The lack of support of the people around you who say that traveling is a waste of time and is not a good idea?
I’m just going to tell you one thing, then: school can wait, work can wait, but regrets, they are forever. I prefer living adventures and going head first in the unknown than having any regrets.
It is your choice, but if you are interested in living abroad/traveling, I highly recommend it. The experience and joy that you get from it is impossible to explain. Just go for it! At least, you won’t have any regrets. You might even meet someone very special and fall in love, who knows?