Semester Flashback

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As I look back through my pictures, keepsakes, and postcards I realize I have ventured. Of all the words I could use to describe these past 16 weeks, I know that “wasted” is not among them.

London, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge – England.

Aix-en-Provence, Marseille – France.

Dublin – Ireland.

Geneva, Montreux – Switzerland.

Cinque Terre – Italy.

Zadar – Croatia.

Edinburgh – Scotland.

Unbelievable. I’ve experienced more than I could have ever imagined. Dreams that once seemed unattainable suddenly seem doable. I know the possibilities are truly endless now. It’s almost like my time in Europe has given me a second wind. Try new things. Meet new people. Enjoy what I do. Make time for the important things.

While I’ll still probably achieve the near-shameful act of watching and re-watching whole seasons of TV shows, laying in my bed eating dozens of cookies, or relaxing on rainy day, I know what’s out there in the world. I’ve engulfed myself in new cultures and am confident I could do it all over again. Even more than that: I want to do it again.

Who knows when or if that will happen, but somehow in the back of my mind I know my own capabilities. I know the millions of options available. And thank Jesus that I am able to experience and follow-through on them. I’ve acknowledged Big Ben more times than I can count. I’ve hiked to the top of Italian villages and traveled by train through the Alps. I’ve had fresh seafood on the French Riviera and seen the most beautiful sunset in the world. I’d say I’ve lived.

This will be a semester that I will never forget. It’ll be the stepping stone into an exploratory life, lived in full, with adventure at the forefront.

xx

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Cathartic Walk

To a runner, walks seem close to a waste of a time. Why should it take me 35 minutes to walk somewhere when I can easily do it in 10 minutes running? It doesn’t make sense. Walks aren’t even an option in most runners’ minds. It’s a sign of weakness. A sign of giving up. Unless it’s at the end of 26 miles, walks are just the middle of the madness.

Me? They’re cathartic. A cleanse of emotions. There’s a trace of rebellion linked to walks that draws me in. It’s taking time in the busyness to rebel and slow it down. I don’t have to fight it any longer like I used to. In the past going on walks meant thinking rather than being.

Being is enjoying the pace, freeing your thoughts, feeling the freshness.

Thinking is panic, worry, mind-racing.

England has warmed me up to the idea. With too much time on my hands, it was the peaceful part of the calm. Unnecessary? Maybe. I had to find something to do with my time and sleeping suddenly seemed like a waste. What was there to do in a place with less than a dozen stores, no warm coffee shop, and no car?

Walk.

I discovered new paths and sought out the best spots. I was lost on purpose. I gained a deeper sense of direction. I stumbled upon treasures. I bathed in the sunless days, the ones with misty rain, and the ones with compelling winds. I thrived in the sun-filled times.

I walked.

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