"We are familiar with the notion that the reality of travel is not what we anticipate"
This quote from The Art of Travel is particularly fascinating to me because, like des Esseintes, I am a nervous traveler. I am comfortable with my tiny sphere of school and home--my personal corner of this enormous universe in which we reside.
On the brink of travel, des Esseintes changed his mind. He decided to stay in London, where he was most familiar (complacent) and decided he was an "old ninny" for entertaining the idea that "it was necessary, interesting, and useful to travel the world". I can relate to des Esseintes in that before any trip I make, either the night before departure or as I hand over my precious, checked-luggage or even as I take the first step onto a plan, I am always hit with a moment of uncertainty and "what ifs". What if my bag gets lost? What if I get separated from my group? Do I really need to do this? Yet i always take a few deep breathes and wait for the moment to pass. I realize that at the center of my anxiety is fear of the unkown. I also realize that I am too motivated and excited to discover different cultures and meet new people that I refuse to let myself remain in my complacent world and miss out on opportunities such as this trip to Berlin that will change my life forever.
If I could give any advice to des Esseintes, it would be that the first step is always the hardest and that with every trip into the unknown, the journey gets easier. I'm very excited to make this journey to Germany with Professor Shier and a wonderful group of RC German students. We made it through proficiency together and conquered RC Readings and this is ultimately what gives me convidence that Berlin will be a glorious, unexpected, and memorable journey that will change and mold us into our future spectacular selves.
The program and itinerary that Professor Shier has planned sounds so amazing that I really cannot decide what I am most excited to experience. The food in Germany already has my stomach growling, and I cannot wait to watch theater that is entirely different than anything I have previously seen. This trip will be unforgettable and I wish these next two days will fly by so I can begin.
See you all in Deutschland :)