In the past sixteen months, I have been to sixteen different cities in twelve different countries. Paris, Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Berlin, Chicago, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Prague, Paris again, London, Madrid, Edinburgh, and Budapest. I graduated a year early and instead of jumping into a full-time job right away, I did a three-month “fun” internship, then skipped across the pond to go live abroad for three months. With my long-term boyfriend, who’s currently enrolled in a two-year international Master’s program in the neurosciences before heading to medical school this coming fall.

I had a wonderful, wonderful time in Europe. I learned how to cook (actually cook), can now run farther than I have before, received memorable old-person-to-young-person life advice at one of my volunteering activities, talked to people and learned their stories, ate crepes and macarons and baguettes in Paris, goulash and beer in Prague, waffles in Belgium, pizza and pasta in Naples and Rome, biked the canals of Amsterdam, explored castles, drank gluhwein at Christmas markets, took long walks in beautiful parks, and marveled every day at how wonderful this world we live in is.

I am so young, and this opportunity presented itself to me at a point in my life when I still had no real responsibilities – twenty years old, no full-time job that I couldn’t leave, no family/kids – and I followed my heart and leapt. And now that I’m back, I’m ready to commit myself to my job, my career, and focus on my professional growth.

I’m not on the fast track. I think I probably missed that entrance when I chose to frolic around the world instead. But that’s okay; I’m in no rush. I think of my friends. So very many people I know are in the thick of pursuing wonderful, admirable careers – in law, medicine, business – all very important for making this world a better place to live in.

But it’s art, beauty, love, the abstract and impossible to describe things in life that touch us in ways we don’t necessary understand. These are the things that we live for. I’m going slow and taking my time through this life. I never want to miss these things if I can help it. It means though, that I don’t have a solid plan just yet. No life trajectory with step-by-step short term goals to get me there. I don’t know exactly what lays of ahead of me. And it’s exciting. I’m excited.

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