Write your own story - my solo travel adventure to Europe!

When you choose to write your own story, there are moments that change you, and they are hidden in the corners and around bends of your spirit that you didn't know existed. This is the magic and mystery of travel, and especially solo travel as a woman. I want to encourage you to dream as big as possible, and to explore your world. Here are some of the ways my trip inspired and changed me!
Everyone has a dream that they put on a pedestal, but often the mind sets unreasonable limits that self-sabotage, making that dream impossible to lay hold of. My long-time dream was to visit my best friend from preschool, now all grown up, in her home town of Newcastle, England.

Under a bridge in the highlands, escaping the wind and finding the sun.
Sure, travel can be expensive, and this is what held me back mentally from taking action for so long. But after a profitable year, the only thing that was holding me back was my pragmatism. A heart to heart with my husband broke through this obstacle, when he looked over our finances, he actually brought it up. "Laura, you've been working hard and it's paying off. You know, you should look up flights to England and visit Heather. I probably won't come with you, but I think you should make it happen."

What's Holding You Back?

A loving relationship helps you grow, and I'm so grateful to Rob for knowing me so well, my dreams and my fears. Knowing what I know now, I think I would have done this travel much sooner. Seeing this dream come true was a moving experience for me in unexpected ways. There were even a few moments that brought me to tears.

On the flight from New York to England, I had the realization that I would be the first of my blood relatives to *return* to the continent of Europe, traveling to the motherland of Scotland after generations of separation.

This may sound a little over-the-top, but as I held my passport in hand,  all sitted in my airplane seat, I recognized the depth and breadth of that blessing.

I realized it is a triumph of humanity to be a woman traveling solo on her own dime, I deemed it a rite of passage, and a testament to the generational struggle to achieve such freedom in a moment like this. And then just as suddenly, an indescribable rush of the weight of responsibility came over me as I wondered --- what good should I do with this freedom? That's one of the greatest questions of life, and it's up to each of us to answer it.

Meeting the Child Within

Later, looking at the front door of Heather's family home brought tears to my eyes. Heather moved away in the 1st grade, and we were pen-pals from the first day we could write. As a child, I dreamed of what it would be like to knock on her door just like I would have of a neighbor, asking simply to come out and play. I never had that chance, in fact I think it was my first heartbreak to be told I probably wouldn't see my friend again. I actually remember seeing her family walk away in the sun on some brick street in Florida as our families said goodbye. I remember telling friends in 2nd grade my best friend title was taken, by a special little girl in England.

I feel that I scooped up my 6 year old spirit there as I looked up at the door, filled with joy and expectation. I collected back a piece of my inner child from that spot.

Rediscovering Ancestral Memories

Have you ever wondered if you have memories deep inside from ancestral history? Well, I have never felt more "at home" than in the city of Edinburgh. I followed-my-nose so to speak straight to the genealogy center where I took in the books and the opportunity to learn about my roots. I also made a point of visiting the famous cemetery where my ancestors, the Craig family, are buried. I couldn't explain it, but deep in my subconscious, carried on for generations, that city is simply etched in. It just felt right. Someday I hope to live and work there for at least a month so I can uncover more.
This is the vision, the "why" for all the grind - it's the chance to lay hold of dreams you barely thought would come true, and discover the unfolding of dreams that never were - and now are - here for a two-fold purpose: to humble, and to propel you.

Heather was a wonderful hostess, helping me plan out each day of the adventure so that I could explore the very best of what was across the pond. I hope to share more about my journeys on that trip, because there's so much to share. I even got to do some less "deep" stuff like shopping! I found a couple of treats I know you'll like, so I'll have to write another post.

Now, I want to know - what's your big dream? How will you write your story? And what will you do with the freedom that you and generations before you have worked so hard to earn? If you liked this post, please leave me a comment below.

Never stop learning, growing, and reaching!

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Content by Laura Gabriele