Posted by: 2girls2europe | July 6, 2011

Figuring out life…or something like it

“When I travel, I really find myself.”  –Seasoned Tourist

Gag. Vomit. Go away. People who say things like these tend to really piss me off. Hippie pseudo-philosophers. They rank on the trust scale right up there with carnies and Miss Cleo (anyone else remember her)?

Besides the obvious watering down of the lifelong journey of self-discovery, proclamations like this have always overstated the actual benefits of traveling. Can it really be that important? The cynic in me says no.

But in a rare, oh-shit-grab-your-camera-moment, I’ll admit that I’m not completely right on this one.

[Audience gasps, children scream, old women clutch their faint hearts.]

I will concede that traveling does have the ability to teach important lessons about oneself. Even me.

Like, for example, that sometimes I am a hypocrite. Go figure. Who saw that one coming? Surely not you, lovely readers. Right?

So as I am discovering on this epic adventure—through many a conversation with Jessie and interactions with new friends—I’m a quirky soul.

I have bouts of extreme hyperactivity followed shortly after by sullen silence. I have a weird sense of humor that—I suspect—often gets lost in translation. In one conversation I can discuss everything from familial dynamics to rollerblades to senior photos to soul mates to pubic hair.

God, who am I?

Well, I don’t (didn’t?) expect to find the answer to that question while I’m snapping photos of monuments or paying for an overpriced cappuccino in Europe.

But I must say, that by forcing myself into new and uncomfortable situations, I am also forcing myself to…well.. think about myself a bit more.

I think Jessie said it best the other day: “I don’t think I’ve ever just had so much time in my own head.”

And honestly, that is what I think this trip really is. It’s not how many new foods I try or people I meet or sights I see. It’s how I use each experience to realize and better understand facets of myself that really rock…or that warrant change. It’s an opportunity to take a piece of a world an ocean away from my reality, and use it to improve myself.

Maybe it’s clichéd, maybe someone else far more important has said these words already, but no matter. I’m telling you this now so that I can always be accountable. So that this life experience on which I have been so lucky to embark, will not merely leave me with a slew of photos and memories… but ways that I can be a better person.

Don’t let me forget.





  1. I’m with you on this Gina!

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