This is the first official summer that I’ll be working full-time, staying in one city, not being able to travel and see friends for weeks at a time, or simply work in another city that I’ve lived in for the rest of the year. It’s a pretty wild thought. Throughout under grad, I would be jetting off every summer. During my Master’s program just a few years ago, I worked in San Francisco for the summer and studied abroad in Costa Rica. Last year, I moved to Austin, TX and spent the summer exploring and job hunting.
Today, I’ve got a job with a great company. I’m living in a great city such as Austin with an infinite amount of activities and events to go to and yet, life remains uncertain due to visa status.
However, this post is not about the uncertainty of visa status. Instead, its a reminder of how fortunate I’ve been to have lived my whole life until now jet setting every summer.
As I witness Paul, and friends we’ve made here in Austin, jet set to various parts of the world for their internships this summer, I’ve felt a sense of jealousy and sadness. The excitement for what they will accomplish and experience parallels my bittersweet desire to have the same experience. Perhaps it’s all a form of FOMO.
That is the hardest part of having the #travelbug: to watch everyone leave while having to stay. In addition, since I am currently awaiting visa results, I am unable to leave the country. (Not even to Canada to visit my parents visiting from Hong Kong..)
With all that said, I know there are going to be days in which all I want to do is get on a plane somewhere, to experience being abroad, to experience the unfamiliarity of another culture but for all those days, there are also going to be days where I’m experiencing full hand what an Austin summer is like.
I plan to focus on work, climb a few times a week, attend social events, read, sun tan, and take a few trips here and there in Texas or in surrounding states. It’s not the same as being in another country, but I simply have to remind myself of all of the incredible summers I’ve had in the past and all the experiences I’ve already had.
Gratitude is always the first step to happiness.