Freedom to go wherever you please, anytime you want is one of the many luxuries of travel. But sometimes picking up and leaving can seem like the hardest thing in the world to do.

I stood in the train station and looked up at the screen. I read the time for the train I needed.

Leaving in 20 minutes.

I couldn't bring myself to move at first. I just stared at the screen, suddenly overcome with indecision. Eventually I walked through the doors and approached the ticket desk. But then I changed my mind and walked back out. I looked back up at the screen.

Leaving in 10 minutes.

Maybe I should stay. Maybe there's one more thing I should do and say. But what? I don't know. I should have planned these last few days. Played them out in my head. Figured out what to say. What to do. Made them perfect.

But that wouldn't have changed anything.

So I went back to the desk and bought my ticket. As I walked to the platform, every step I took felt heavier than the last, like some unseen force was trying to hold me back. I could not shake the feeling that maybe I was making a mistake, but I couldn't think of an alternative. This was unavoidable.

Leaving immediately. I got on the train.

Before I left America to travel the world, I knew that my trip would change me. I knew I would experience challenges, I would grow, and I would experience extreme highs and extreme lows. I knew I would meet people, and that I would have to say goodbye.

But knowing you're going to experience something and being prepared for it are too different things. Because you can't prepare for it. You just experience it, and that's how you know you're alive.

So thanks for making me feel alive.