23 days have passed and now we are just 24 hours away; at 5:55 PM tomorrow, July 8th, I will step on Icelandair 7872 to Copenhagen, Denmark. With just a few short stops in Boston, MA and Reykjavik, Iceland, I will be on my way! It’s hard to believe that I leave so soon! On the other side of the Atlantic, a wonderful family, will be waiting for me. I am sure there will be much to share once I arrive, but for now, I’d like share a little bit on where I’ve been and how I’ve gotten to this point thus far.
On May 14th, 2017 I graduated college with a B.S in Biology, I enjoyed a great night at Shenanigans, a favorite local restaurant, with my Senior Class and said goodbye to a place that has left such a great mark on my life.
My brother, Rob, and I traveled to Gulf Shores, AL for the Hangout Music Festival.
I got my wisdom teeth out.
I got Uber certified, drove people around Charlotte, took a man to Cookout, and got a free Milkshake. I bought a plane ticket to Copenhagen. Mary Kate, my sister, and I went on plenty of great runs around the City, but we could have done without the heat and humidity.
I went to Carowinds for the third year in a row with my friend Emma. We realized that our heads may not be able to take another year. I found out that my Homestay opportunity in Denmark was going to work. I drove to Winston-Salem and got to see my Grandparents.
I traveled to Camp Rockmont, witnessed incredible work being done by incredible people. I got to reflect on a place that has had larger impacts on my life than I can quantify. I got to eat at my favorite breakfast spot and run one last time on the trials I spent many summers on. I gazed out over Lake Eden, at the Seven Sisters Mountains and the Black Mountains further behind, and I felt at peace.
Coming home I had to say goodbye to Mary Kate. We stayed up late and imitated what it was like to wake up to different alarm tones, and then woke up early to drive to the airport.
I made one final drive to Sewanee. Elizabeth, Jacob, Ethan, Seth and I cycled down to Alabama, onward and back. We got caught in the largest rain storm ever and climbed the Mountain anyway. I ate at Shenanigans on numerous occasions and savored each moment on that porch. I said goodbye to Rob and Katherine. It rained everyday, but the sun also shown everyday. I swam with friends, ran on trails, and watched the evening sunlight hit the sandstone the way it does in Sewanee and smiled at the pink glow it produced. I watched fireworks by Lake Chesson and thought about where I would be the next 4th of July. On the 5th, Ethan and I took to the trails on a mission to run the Perimeter Trail (The 19-mile loop that encompasses the campus). Sitting in every stream we crossed, we enjoyed every minute of it. For four years, I ran those trails. It was the perfect ending to my time in Sewanee and was it served as a great time to reflect on how gracious I am for getting to this point in my life. I ended my time in Sewanee with a final beer on the porch of Shenanigans, gave hugs to the friends still in Sewanee, drove to Cross, reveled at its magnitude and view, drove through the gates, grabbed my angel as I tapped the roof and headed onward. In the morning we trekked through traffic and made it back home to Charlotte, then 48 hours to go.
Much of the past few weeks have been about the Important Places, the Important People. I am thankful to have had that time. I somehow managed to fit the weeks of preparation speed across my other bed into three, carry-able bags.
And now it seems like we are just about ready. It’s wild to think about all that has happened in the past year that has brought me to this point, but I have countlessly been reminded of the incredible adventure that awaits.
I have been waking up excited most days and going to bed a little anxious. And I have found that all of these feelings are okay. They’re good and are a reminder that this is real!
I am looking forward to sharing the journey with you all as I go, but for now I’d like to leave you with a thought that I mentor at camp shared to his staff before a new session of campers arrived.
There’s no guarantee. No guarantee of tomorrow or what lies after, and so there lies also a lot of mystery in departing on a great journey. What will happen? What is around the corner? When will I see you again? All of these are questions I have been thinking about as I prepare to go. The one guarantee amidst all of this is that the next time I see you? It will be a celebration. Whether I see you in 3, 6, 9, 12, or many months from now, I know we will celebrate. I can’t wait for it.
Until then… Vi ses snart, Te veo pronto, มาพบกันเร็ว ๆ นี้, Nitakuona hivi karibuni, See you soon.