Sitting here on the airplane I suddenly realize how much I love airports. They are filled with so many real emotions and some of the most heartfelt goodbyes. Whether it is a wife desperately clinging on to her armed forces husband as if the tighter she holds him the sooner he'll return, the overprotective mom hesitantly sending her child back to college after winter break, or the single father of four somehow managing to herd his wild children through a packed airport while simultaneously juggling all their luggage. It is all un-staged, sincere emotion. And quite frankly, it's beautiful. 

I love airports because they strip us of our egos. Here, we aren't students, businessmen, janitors, or CEOs. We're travelers. We're all the same. We're all terrified when the plane starts to shake and we convince ourselves that we are about to die. We're all tired and cranky. We're all praying (literally) we don't get stuck next to the smelly dude who snores. We're all starving because we refuse to pay FOURTEEN FREAKING DOLLARS for a sandwich. We're all in the same boat. (Or plane, if you will) 

Today I leave for Europe for 5 months. I have been looking forward to this day since September. This afternoon when I was walking through the airport I felt so cool: Everyone! Look at me! Im going to Europe! *flips hair* Took me a hot minute but I eventually realized that I was not special. Everyone here has their own story and is headed to different parts of the world for different reasons. To me, that is super cool. Over the past week I have been on at least 15 coffee dates with close friends to say our final goodbyes and without fail they have all asked me the same question: "So tell me, how are you feeling??!!" and then they stare at me smiling creepily until I chuckle and respond "Honestly I have no clue." to each of them. 

And I didn't have a clue how I felt until the plane literally started taking off. It didn't actually hit me until I slowly watched the Minneapolis skyline fade through the tiny, smeared, plane window. Emotionally, I am somewhere in-between the anxiety-ridden lady next to me white knuckling her armrests as we take off and the overly enthusiastic flight attendant. I am both terrified and ecstatic about this experience. 

I am going to miss my friends and family back home (and bacon lol) dearly but that doesn't compare to how excited I am for this new adventure. I absolutely hate the overused mantra and basic Instagram selfie caption of "New year, new me!!!!!" but I think this year it might actually be true.... In 5 months I will not be returning to MN as the same person I am now. I will have seen, experienced and learned so many things about the world and about myself. I know this year will be a year of growth for myself and I can confidently say I am SO ready for it. Here's to hoping my "oldies jamz yo" playlist and the free wine will make this dreadful plane ride a little shorter...

No turning back now! Here goes nothing...

Thanks for reading