Dear Amanda at 18,
Right now you are probably just back from your very first trip on a plane, and your very first time outside of Canada! I know how much you loved Turkey and how you are excited and so eager to share everything you’ve learned with your friends and family. You have found your first country to fall in love with and you will dream about Turkey for years to come. Congratulations! You don’t know it yet but you’ve been bitten by the travel bug!
But also I have to apologize because the hardest years are yet to come.
Your depression will overtake you as you realize just how in debt you are from school, it will feel hopeless and you will have this crazy urge to want to go and see new things but sadly you won’t experience the exhilaration of taking off for another 4 years. During these 4 years do well in school, even though you will end up thinking that you made a mistake and you would have been happier studying something else. Trust me, you will grow to love children, graduate with great grades, get a job, meet new people and experience Toronto (your new home) In a way you couldn’t have if you were traveling. You needed this time to be grounded and be stuck to actually discover and plan what you want to do.
You guessed it! You will have to do three hard years working in the daycare system only to discover that you actually hate it and need to be doing something else, but be thankful for all the experience you gained, the good and the bad, because in the future it helps you land the most amazing dream job you never expected to have. You will have an amazing mentor and employer who cares about you and respects you. You will be part of a team, a properly functioning family unit for the first time in your life (not in a position you would have expected) but it will be amazing. The possibilities are endless.
And yes like I said don’t lose hope because you will travel again, to many many breathtaking places, meet some unique and loving people that you are so lucky to call your friends. I don’t want to give it all away but I can’t help it! You will live in another country, travel to many places – ALONE, see oceans, jungles, deserts and far away places I know you dreamed about in 7th-grade social studies. This will be your reality.
And it doesn’t stop here! You have the trip of your life coming up where you get to put your real passion to the test. This trip will test your physical and mental limits as well as your ability to adapt to a different culture and different way of life, but I know you can do it, you got moxie kid.