Abroad Update 2:

I keep thinking about one thing.

(Well actually, that is a big fat lie because I can’t stop thinking about everything 24/7)

Walking around in a big city like Sydney, I am in a constant awe of all the people that surround me. On the train, on the sidewalk, in the cafes, at the university. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to see a lot of the world and people, but for some reason, now that I am fully emerged in the #citylife, it is almost as if my eyes have opened up wider.

This world is damn big.

Surrounded by so many different people, I kinda felt as if the social anxiety would get to me. When I was younger, I loathed talking to strangers. I disliked any sort of change. I wanted that straight, linear line of relationships with people I had known since kindergarten. In all honesty, I swore to myself that I’d stay close with the friends I’ve had since I was a baby. I was going to marry the love of my life from first grade and my family would be “happy go lucky” for the rest of our eternal lives.

(But from first hand experience, I am certain to announce that life does the complete opposite.)

I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. And maybe that’s why I decided to come to Australia. I needed discomfort. Yet, I surprisingly haven’t felt myself shrinking into the shadows, wanting to hide from uncertainty.

I am oddly falling in love with the unlimited access to new relationships.

Which brings me to the question of “why”.

With these unfamiliar wants I now have, I am reflecting and questioning my actions even more.

Why did I decide to study abroad?
Why did I come to Australia?

Why do I feel scared?

Why do I not feel scared?

Why am I responding in that particular way?

Why is this emotion arising?

Why, why, why, why.

If I was forced to get a tattoo, (yes forced - Dad if you are reading this I am NOT going to get a tattoo), all I would ask for is a small print of “why” inked onto my skin. I find the word is small, but incredibly powerful. Without it, I wouldn’t be given the time to understand/figure out the purpose of my life. (or the purpose of my journey).

I know you opened this up to read an update, but know that this is an update. Just an update of whats on my heart. I’ve been experiencing so much these last four weeks, I think it is important that I find the time to take a step back from the blur of “living abroad”. (And let this be a remember for you to do the same, wherever you are).

A new, ambitious soul that I met this summer gave me really good advice before I headed off for abroad. He told me to try to soak in the reality of living in a new place. He said too often, too many people get abroad and spend all of their time wanting to travel and see everything that they can. Because of living in the future, they miss out on the stunning reality of where they actually are. When he was abroad, he explained, despite his amazing travels, some of his fondest memories were the everyday living as just a regular student overseas. When he told me this, I, of course, didn’t truly understand what he was trying to say. Now? I am starting to. However, its very difficult living in the moment when there are so many new people to meet and so many amazing places to see.

But like everything, you just gotta keep trying.

So, with that, I will continue to embrace the “why’s”.

Check out VSCO here for actual abroad updates (aka travels, me eating food, etc ;)

(And if the link isn’t working, please let me know! I have been having trouble with it)

TravelEmma Ecklin