There are few days when I don’t look back on my trip to Germany in 2008 with Sister Cities and think, “Where did that time go?” It was, in all honesty, one of the greatest adventures of my life. Three weeks in a completely foreign country with a language I barely knew how to speak and so many wonderful people. New things to try. New foods to eat. Everything new and yet so shockingly old. A seven hundred year-old home that was still being lived in or a thousand year old church. I’m still completely enchanted by it all, and I probably never won’t be.
I’ll be going on another adventure roughly four and a half months from now when I head to Chicago and then Denver by taking the train and staying in a hostel before making it out to my sister’s wedding. I’m excited, I really am. But there’s this little part of me that keeps saying: you are trying to relive Germany, and you will fail.
It’s something that I don’t want to accept, but the more that I think about it, it may be true. I spend so much time thinking about those good times and how I’d love to live through them again, and sometimes I think I plan my life around that. Trying to explore and adventure to new places again and again. But it is not sustainable. After a while, you have to move into other aspects of your life and leave adventures behind. I suppose that many people call this growing up or maturing, but I just find it disheartening. Why give up your dreams of adventures? Why not try to relive them or make new memories?
But, because I search so desperately for them, I think that they become doomed from the get go to not live up to my expectations. It’s similar to how I hated Girls State because I had gone to Missouri Scholars Academy the year before and was just comparing it to something so much greater. Chicago/Denver cannot be another Germany, but I need to accept that it can be its own separate adventure. It can be something new. It can be something wonderful. And I just need to keep an open mind and throw away that idea that you must ‘mature’ to no longer having fun.
If that’s what maturing is, then I will have no part in it.