Enjoy the Journey - This American Girl



It may be a bit shocking for you all to know

that I am terrified

of flying.









flying over nicaragua


So terrified that each time I book a flight, hesitantly drag myself out of bed, slide into the backseat of a taxi, wait patiently through security, and fasten my seat belt tighter than necessary, I am fairly convinced that I am one step closer to falling out of the sky.


In fact


There was a time when I would not travel.

Declined invitations to see Budapest for the weekend.

Missed my flights.



I was

so afraid

of the journey.


flying over cancun


Yet somehow, this year, I have booked sixteen flights, boarded twenty-six planes, landed in ten countries, and explored thirty-four cities.


And still, every time


I grip my armrests during takeoff and turbulence so tightly my tan disappears.


I silence my music.


I set down my book.


I focus my thoughts.


If this is my last moment on Earth, I do not want it spent listening to Flo Rida nor reading questionably offensive sexcapades nor pondering what I will eat the moment I land.


flying over denver


But I have learned

wherever I am

to give in

and enjoy

the journey.



Several months ago, hundreds of feet above ground, blindly trusting a Costa Rican tour company, my life literally hanging on a cable wire, I had an epiphany.


If I focused on the beauty of my surroundings, the breath taking aerial views of the cloud forests below, my fear became joy, my discomfort melted into peace.


I was able to enjoy the sensation, the experience, of flying.


Had I concentrated instead on reaching the end of the track, I would have missed the incredible journey, hating it all the way.


sailing san blas


Since then I have noticed

that sometimes

the most amazing

part of travel

is the travel itself.


bus in Colombia


Bus rides up mountains in Morocco

trains through the countryside of Portugal

airplanes over islands formed by erupted volcanoes

cable cars floating above land and sea in Barcelona

boats through dolphin filled waters in Belize at sunset


atlas mountains


are absolutely incredible

when I open my eyes

and look around.


Cartagena wall


What journey in your life are you suffering to get through?


Are you squeezing your eyes closed and praying for the end?


Can you find the beauty in the voyage and enjoy it for as long as it endures?


Will you trust that it will take you where you need to go?


camels in Morocco


Often the longest, least comfortable roads

are the most beautiful.


morocco berbers


Today, I am going to continue walking.

To look around.

And to enjoy.

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