I made a pretty huge decision a couple months ago. It certainly wasn’t an easy one, and it definitely is leaving a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I round out my final week in the valley. Yes, you read that correctly — Michigan, I’m coming back to you.
The past year of my life has been a crazy one, and the one before that, too, to be honest. I’ve been to more countries and experienced more cultures than most people will get the opportunity to in their lifetime, and I’m eternally grateful for the chances, opportunities and sheer luck that I’ve been given. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. Solo traveling a continent definitely forces you to spend a lot of time by yourself, and you think a lot during that time. Living so closely with nature these past seven months also allowed me the time, opportunity, and environment to get to know myself. I’ve been more stressed, as well as more relaxed, than I’ve ever been this past year, and to say that this all has been an emotional roller coaster would be an incredible understatement.
There are probably at least a dozen reasons why I decided last October that I wanted to come home. While the major ones are quite too personal for a public blog post, some minor contributions most definitely have to do with the people that I spent my time with during my visit back a few months ago. I love Panama, I do, but being home and with the people that I love just felt the most right. I felt like that was where I belonged and where I was supposed to be. That’s a feeling that somehow slipped away from me here in Panama. While this country will always be a home to me, it’s not the one that I need right now.
I also think it’s time I finally chill on the airport hangs for a minute and focus on school. I’ve been so into learning about me and the world that I exist in (which by no means is a bad thing!) that I forgot that, to achieve the things that I want to achieve in my life, I need to learn academically-focused curriculum from a university to get that piece of paper that will allow me to get a job that I can make waves in. I want to do so much, and I know that I’m only twenty-one, but i already feel short on time. Graduation is not a race, but there does come a time when you have to face the reality of maybe jumping in the game too late, and y’all know I love punctuality.
Now, don’t think this means I’m not going to be traveling anymore; I don’t think I’m capable of that. Maybe just in the summer. And on weekends. And if I get my homework done for the week early and I find good airfare. ONLY THEN. And I’ll even make an effort to keep it on this continent. That’s limited, right? ………. Right?
On January 22nd, a week from tomorrow, I’ll be stepping off of a plane for the last time for a while. I swear, I actually plan to stick around this time! I think that might actually be my 2018 goal — stay in the US for at least half of this year. I’ve been going nonstop for almost two years now, and I’m exhausted, to be honest with you. I’ll still be working for my beloved Kalu Yala, just remotely. So if you see me on my laptop, I’m probably answering an onslaught of emails, so take pity on me and buy me a coffee pleaaaaase. I’m honestly so looking forward to being home in Michigan for a while. With that being said, if you’re a pal who lives somewhere in the US that I haven’t seen in a while, please talk to me, because y’all know how fast I get bored. 😉
See ya soon xx