3. The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.
Ideally my main form of transportation would be a magic carpet or a hover board but with that aside I’ve experienced just about every other vehicle. Planes, trains, ferries, trolleys, taxi cars, subway cars, and the always pleasant bus. I’ve experienced these vessels in foreign countries, with maps in foreign languages and I’ve been fortunate enough to always find my way.
The first time I got on a plane by myself I was nervous. But then again I’m kind of a nervous person. If you met me for the first time you wouldn’t guess it. I’m a classic extrovert who thrives off the energy of meeting and conversing with people but after I walk away from a social interaction I will be racked with paranoia thinking I said something stupid. I think my nervous nature is a connection to my old introverted ways of when I was a kid. Some extroverts are born, but others are made through sheer force.
Each time I navigate to a new place on another form of transportation it feels like a win for the girl who used to be unable to be persuaded to leave her mother’s side. That’s why when I decided to go to Europe the summer after I graduated from college it felt like it would be the biggest accomplishment of all.
Milan → Florence → Venice → Rome → Naples → Sorrento
←Milan → Barcelona → Madrid → Paris → Brussels → Amsterdam
→Edinburgh → Glasgow → Belfast → Dublin → Crazy Tour of Ireland
←Dublin → Home ♥
I think that was everything. For two months I was regularly being taken to new, and different places. The destinations that I have always dreamed of. Each time I got to a new airport or train station there was always a shaky moment where I doubted if I could actually do this adventure by myself. Sometimes the seven-hour bus ride was the only solace I had from constantly being on the go and overstimulated with everything a new city had to offer.
Besides the excitement of arriving to your destination the next best thing about transportation is the people watching hours you get in. You can learn a lot about a person with how they function while traveling. Some people are complete stress freaks and others just go about their way quietly even when something disrupts their plans. But after all that stress it is the greetings that always make me smile.
When you travel by yourself seeing goodbyes and greetings are a little bittersweet. I was at the end of my trip when I was taking a flight from Amsterdam to Edinburgh and I was walking towards the escalator, dodging pairs of people saying their goodbyes when it occurred to me that most of these people were likely heading towards someone. I whispered to myself, “there is no one waiting for me on the other side.”
Which wasn’t exactly true. There were people waiting. Waiting to show me a new city. Waiting to be part of my adventure. Waiting to write new stories with me, not even knowing that they held a pen.
I’m back home in my bedroom. The vehicle that I use most often now is the El in my city that takes me from one transportation center to another station. It is the same path every few days. It doesn’t bring me anything new, except the occasional colorful passenger, and people get on and off without greetings. But each ride is still a small adventure for the girl who used to be an introvert.