I am frequently exhausted, almost always have at least a hint of a cold, only make time to run about half as much as I'd like to, and often, like this past weekend, end up with something like churros for dinner at 10:30 pm rather than the healthy meal I imagine myself eating at a normal time.
But I absolutely love it. I love this life that I've chosen, that my job with Bus2alps has allowed me to live, more than words can say. As wayward as I am in actually updating my own blog, I'm a pretty devoted reader of quite a few other blogs, most of which detail day-to-day lives in America. Which I enjoy reading for multiple reasons--they remind me of home, they give me a glimpse into the type of life I might someday enjoy, they have pretty pictures...but for the life of me, I can't imagine living a life anywhere near that right now.
None of this is meant as an indictment on anyone who's chosen a career/life route that looks more typical than my current one--I respect and admire that in a lot of ways, and even tried it out myself without as much success as so many people I see excelling at chasing their own dreams more gracefully than I ever managed at home.
The thing is, on days like today, when I wake up to a sun-soaked Florence after a weekend in the French Riviera with moments that bordered on magical, and after (perhaps most importantly) a full night of sleep, I can't imagine being anywhere else. I don't think it's possible to be 23 and not dancing around some kind of doubt about what you're doing with your life (if I'm wrong, please let me know, because I would love to meet you). But the fact that I've been lucky enough to find myself living in Italy with a group of some of the most talented, hilarious, street-smart, beautiful, caring people I've ever met, showing people just a couple years younger than myself the sights that entrance me and have taken my breath away, is a kind of good fortune that, had you asked me a year ago, I didn't think I'd ever come across.
When people ask me if I like my job, my response that I'm living my dream life is not an exaggeration. Yes, there are everyday challenges and frustrations and a ceaselessly-growing to-do list that might make me give a different answer if you catch me in the wrong moment, but all in all, the fact that I worked my way out of a lifestyle that felt like a cage to live in this place means that there's nowhere else I'd rather be right now.
So what is the point of this post? I guess it depends on who's reading. Had I read this a year ago, it would have been a lifeline of hope, a reassurance that if you want something fiercely enough, it is possible. That if seeing the world is something you dream of, you can make it into something more than a dream--a lesson I've been taught more and more every day by the people I've met along the way.
Happy travels, friends, in whatever way that might apply to your life!