For months, people have been telling me that I’m so brave for doing this, that they could never do something as crazy as pack up their life and move across the world. But I don’t feel brave. I feel scared.
It’s the third night in a row that sleep hasn’t come easily to me. I close my eyes and instead of relaxing, my mind wakes up. Each night I think up a range of scenarios pertaining to a different emotion – I’ve had fear, excitement, anxiety and sadness.
The reason? In a week, I’ll be on a plane to New York City with no return ticket. It’s been my ‘dream’, as horribly cliche as that sounds, since I first went to New York in 2009. I was obsessed with the architecture, the tourist spots, the history. I went back three years later, but it still wasn’t enough. I had my sights set on living there one day – and finally, it’s happening.
I’m hardly the first person to pack up their life for an adventure in their early 20s. Half of my Facebook friends are in London, the other half are preparing to leave. But it’s still a really, really big deal. At least to me.
For months, people have been telling me that I’m so brave for doing this, that they could never do something as crazy as pack up their life and move across the world.
But I don’t feel brave. To be completely honest, I feel scared.
I’m scared to leave my family. We’re so close, it doesn’t feel right that I’ll be saying goodbye to them soon for God knows how long. I won’t be here to watch my six-month-old niece say her first word, or take her first steps. I call my mum every day when I’m walking home from the office and just talk to her about everything and nothing. I can’t do that anymore.
I’m scared to leave my friends, who have become part of an extended family – a family that I chose for myself. They’ve brought me back to life after some of the hardest points in this past year. They’re the support network I never knew I needed. I won’t have that anymore.
I’m scared of the unknown. I’ve always been a strict planner – I used to bicker with my ex-boyfriend about where we were going for dinner, what time we needed to wake up, what we were doing the next day. Plans make me feel safe.