My biggest challenge thus far in my voyages has been the trip I took last October to Ireland to see my Sweetie. I had flown internationally once. I consider it dipping my toe in the water of "international" travel. I went to the Bahamas in 2011 and considering it's only a 25-minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale, I don't know that it really counts. I had never before in my 43 years flown across an entire ocean to get to a completely different continent. The crossing-the-ocean part is what was intimidating for me. Then I met J and I knew that meeting him was a foregone conclusion. The tricky part was getting to him. Things all came together in late August. Between his schedule and mine, it was decided that early October would be best. So I went online and looked at flights and found one that was good for both of us time-wise and booked and bought my tickets. It was the easiest, most sure decision I've ever made in my life. I'm one who hesitates hitting the "Complete Purchase" button on most shopping websites, but with this trip, there was zero hesitation in me at all. My fear of flying didn't enter my mind. My fear of rejection didn't enter my mind. My fear of what others would think didn't enter my mind. All I knew was that being with J was something I was meant to do.
I get emotional now thinking of it. Thinking of how many of my fears I faced in one fell swoop. And I get emotional thinking of the absolute joy I got from the trip itself.
If there's one piece of advice I could give about your own voyages is just to take them. To the next town, the next state, the next country...stretch your comfort zone a bit. Meet people and take the chance. And if you can't take a physical trip, reach out to people online who live in different areas than you. Ask questions. Start an electronic pen pal-ship. Pictures can be posted, stories can be shared. And be willing to help someone understand your little part of the world. How beautiful of a community could we create if we all shared a little?
A picture I took while in Ireland