Hello friends! I’ve mentioned before that I’ve only traveled outside of the U.S. once. I am extremely fortunate to be able to say that I was able to truly travel for the first time with my choir. I went to Spain and Southern France for two weeks with a large group of girls around my age and a few chaperones who I love dearly. During my trip, I learned a lot of things about myself, and I con confidently say that traveling changes my life.
As I walked the streets of Spain by myself, despite the 40 girls I was with, I found peace in being by myself. The girls were all amazing humans, but I couldn’t seem to find my own place. I clicked with lots of girls, but was hesitant to join a group, as I felt like I was intruding. It was during these times that I realized that I don’t really need human interaction to thrive, in fact, I do better by myself. At first, I was upset that I didn’t have a group to explore with, but I quickly realized that being upset or stressed would take me away from this amazing experience.
In some way, making new friends, which I hadn’t had to do in a very long time, showed me who I truly was. We all have different personalities with different people, but who are we with just ourselves? This person came out when I was making new connections and desperately trying to form friendships. I realized how shy, awkward, and sweet I am. I also found people that appreciate those qualities. These friendships allowed me to flourish. With my new pack, all of my best traits shown; I was funny, kind, outgoing, and most of all I was happy.
Before we stepped on the plane, I had never really faced my real personality. In my head, I was this super friendly and charismatic girl. Honestly, I have no clue why I thought that because I’m an introvert who tries her best to avoid social interactions. Before we left (America, that is), I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, and got mad at myself when I couldn’t be the person I visualized.
Living with new people really showed me how I interact with people. I kid you not, within the first two days I heard some variation of “are you an introvert?” at least ten times. The weird thing is, I had never processed how shy I am and how hard it is for me to interact with new people. While at the time, people calling me an introvert shook me, now I see that those people gave me the tools I needed to settle into who I really am.