Not So Brave

"You're so brave!"  It's something that I've heard over and over again, from the moment that I shared that I would be quitting my full-time job to take this trip until just today while chatting with someone at my hostel.  It's always an interesting response to this little season of my life, because I don't feel all that brave.  Sure, I suppose it's pretty cool that I felt confident enough to quit my job, move back to my hometown for a season, and then traverse around Europe for a few months, but brave feels like a stretch to me.  Looking back, I was scared when this all started to come together, and I'm still a bit scared now.  From the initial dream to travel and knowing I'd have to leave my job of 4 years, to realizing that moving back home — while weird — was exactly what I needed to do, to planning all of the details and then leaving the states for 4+ months, I've been nervous the whole damn time.  But it has all come together one step at a time, because I honestly did not have the nerve to jump head first.  No, I had to take baby steps, asking God to affirm anything and everything along the way.  Do you see why "brave" might be hard for me to grasp or accept?

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Real Talk: Confidence

I know that I've said it before, but this solo trip through Europe has already proven to be pretty stinking life-changing.  Not only have I been able to take in countless beautiful places, interact with so many new cultures, and meet some of the most amazing people, but I have also been challenged in numerous ways.  I've had to navigate all of these new cities, typically alone (shoutout to Google Maps for being the real MVP), I've been forced to find the balance between exploring and making time to rest and recharge, and I've endured some some truly awful travel days.  I have also come face-to-face with some hard stuff, such as melancholy, feelings of loneliness, being single in some of the most romantic cities in Europe, and most recently, a desire for normalcy and routine.  The coolest and hardest part of all of this is that I've been edged out of my comfort zone to the point that I'm not even sure where it begins and ends anymore, which is amazing and — trust me — a huge deal for your girl.

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Europe Update & Vlog

It's hard to believe, but I have officially reached the halfway point of my massive trip through Europe!  I have been traveling for eleven weeks so far and still have another eight to go, and I;ve already learned and grown so much.  Solo-traveling through countless beautiful cities, exploring different cultures, and eating so much good food along the way has been so good for my soul, and instead of writing out some of those details, I've decided to do something totally new and different!  Here is the first "Real Talk with Gennean" video!  Warning: get ready for all the quirkiness.

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Real Talk: Feelings

Traveling for the last two months has been pretty incredible, as I'm sure you can probably imagine, but if I'm going to keep it real, you need to know that it has also been pretty hard.  While it's been amazing to see so many new places, make new friends, and even live out of a suitcase (seriously, I'm loving the minimalism of it), it has also been, at times, both exhausting and lonely.  About halfway through May, right as I was landing in Rome, I was physically, emotionally, and mentally spent, and totally feeling it.  I had been go-go-go for over a month, bouncing from city to city every 3 or 4 days (with some god-awful travel days mixed in), and so I was real tired and slowly starting to realize that I was also feeling sad, simply because I was overwhelmed with alllll of the feelings: excitement, anxiety, anticipation, exhaustion, loneliness.  Best put, I felt a hot mess, and knew that my old friend melancholy wasn't too far behind.

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