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The Soul Behind ‘the tall girl’

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." C.S. Lewis

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” ~C.S. Lewis

How can you know there’s a real person behind the words on an impersonal screen?

You can’t see me, you aren’t in my presence, you don’t know who’s really behind the blog, telling of her experiences.

Many times when I see a blog post or any social media publication, there’s a hint of doubt about its origin and the author’s intent. It often seems detached and soulless, like a news story to be read and tossed away. That being said, I wanted to share my travel confessions so you know I’m a real, living and breathing human, and not a robot pumping out lifeless posts.

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I just had to throw a couple coins in the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy! The first, a wish. The second, to assure I will return to Rome one day.

Loneliness.
Yes, I can feel loneliness. It’s not the main feeling in my head and on my heart every day, but when it slides in unbidden, it can take a bit of mental wrestling to pin it and then discard it. It’s a loneliness that comes from wishing there was someone or others right then and there I could experience the moment with. The world is beautiful, and although I enjoy the freedom of solo travel, at times I just want my best friend ooh-ing and ah-ing next to me, or mom and dad seeing it all with me and then making friends with all the locals like they do back home.

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But never really alone.

Hope.
I’ve wanted to travel since I could understand the concept of ‘the world’ outside my tiny Iowan zip code. I started saving money and plotting when I was 14. And I knew I wanted to be a travel blogger when I was 19. I hid the dream from most because it always sounded too far-fetched and naïve, as if I could actually have the dream job of ‘world traveler.’ But I’ve held onto the hope that it is possible, because I have a God who already knows what I’ll be doing in 5 hours, a year from now, 10 years from now, and so on.
So I continue to hope that this dream can become a reality.

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It’s a good thing I LOVE coffee shops for all the researching, writing, and editing I have to do for a post.

Fear.
Along with the question of how I’m paying for this 4-month adventure, which you can find described here, the second most common question is about fear. “Are you scared travelling alone?” Sure, there are moments of fear but it’s more from a sense of not having control of a situation as opposed to being in danger. For example, when Katelynn and I flew from Athens to Rome at 11 p.m., not arriving until 1 a.m., which caused us to miss the last night train into the city and lose a night’s sleep at our Couchsurfing host’s place, I felt a lack of control over the situation. It’s more like anxiety when things don’t happen how you plan or from the lack of a plan to begin with.

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My workaway hosts in Pisa, Italy! How could I feel fear when I’m with such amazing people.

Growth.
With all this mind-blowing, amazing food I’m eating, I’m growing outward more than upward! But at 6’1” I think I’m good to be done anyways.
By growth I’m referring to self-growth from the new perspectives of all the people I’m meeting. I’ve asked questions of myself and of the world that never would have crossed my mind prior to this journey. Israel and an Israeli friend taught me to ask myself, “Am I truly honest?” Not just to others but also to myself? Have I been pretending and putting on a façade for others the past 22 years…but have I been lying to myself that whole time as well? This of course pulls up all kinds of introspection that I could work on for years.

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Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Tears are forming in my eyes as I ponder the impact this trip has already had on my heart and mind. Each moment of our lives can be a life-changing one, and this journey as a whole will be unforgettable to me. My sincerest wish is for my words to encourage and inspire others to go out and embark on a transformative adventure themselves. And then come back and tell me all about it!

stay lovely,
the tall girl

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