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The Road that Leads me Home

As a child, I would daydream daily about faraway destinations. What would it feel like to swim in the ocean, stand under the Christ the Redeemer statue, live on a tropical island, or see the northern lights? I had a powerful desire to leave my small town and explore the world.

One memory that has stuck with me is walking to school at 7 am on a dark winter morning. It was cold, and there was snow on the road. My Discman was playing all the nineties tunes (yes, I'm forever grateful for anti-wrinkle creams). As I trudged to class for descriptive geometry, all I could think of was wanting to live in a warm place where winter didn’t exist. I knew then that I had to leave my country, with its heavy grey clouds, and make a life where the sun always shines.

As soon as I finished my studies, I left for a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. Moving to a foreign country alone before I turned twenty was a liberating feeling. This was before I had an email address or a phone camera (yes, I feel old now). I would send postcards and handwritten letters to my family with real photos. My English was very basic at the time, and for the first few months, I struggled to express myself, always keeping a little dictionary in my pocket. Eventually, I settled in and called Cyprus my home for a decade.

Life happens, relationships end, and I knew I had to move forward. I made traveling a part of my life by getting seasonal jobs in different locations. Getting a job in Lapland, a hundred miles above the Arctic Circle, may not have been my brightest idea, but it gave me a deep appreciation for warm summer days.

Traveling gave me a new perspective, helping me see the world with fresh eyes and exposing me to different cultures and traditions. These authentic encounters taught me that the world is a beautiful place full of kind people. Traveling boosted my confidence, brought new friends into my life, made me more aware and open to new experiences, and helped me re-evaluate and reinvent my life. The time I spent traveling was the best investment in myself.

My journey from daydreams to real adventures has shaped who I am today. Each place I've visited, each person I've met, and each experience I've had has been a step in my journey of self-discovery and growth. And as I continue to explore, I know there's so much more to see and learn.

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