In less than 12 hours, I will have achieved the first goal on my 30 before 30 list: live in five different countries.
A part of me is flipping off the walls in so much excitement I can harder keep to this seat and write this post. China, Canada, France, Japan, and now the imminent UK. It has been a journey, a long, expensive, frustrating, brilliant, extraordinary, life-changing journey.
Every place has held something unique.
China is my birthplace. It is in my blood, in my appearance, in my heritage, and in my ethnicity. It is home to the people who loves me most. It is the foundation on which I am building my life.
Canada is the promised land. It is where my future blossomed into a hundred thousand potentials, beyond the confines of the Great Walls that humble and intimidate its Chinese citizens. It is the second half of my identity.
France is the first step out. It held my debutant ball. It is where I began to pen my own story, instead of letting my parents write it for me.
Japan is maturity. It housed my full independence. I got a taste of the adult life and the delicious freedom that comes with my own purse of change.
What will the UK be?
It will be my branching out, completed.
As saddened as I am, I know I am not coming home after this year. I don’t know where in the world I will land. All I know is, I will be on a crazy job-hunt, the results of which will determine the rest of my young adult life. I will have my own bank account which will contain a dismal amount of personal wealth. I will be living in some dingy basement with five other roommates just to afford the rent. I will be emerging from that academic bubble and into society, once and for all.
And I will be utterly, wholly alone.
As if that isn’t heart-pounding enough, for the first time in my life, I cannot see five years down the road. I cannot even see a year ahead. It is deeply unsettling, the unknown.
I am an organizer. I organize everything down to its most minute detail. And here I am, marching forward into a foreign country with not even a shadow of a plan. I am out of my element and I am scared out of my mind.
But the daredevil side of me breathes in the thrill. It does not see pitch blackness ahead, but rather a never-ending firework of possibilities, exploding in a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes. It sees the world as its playground. Armed with an education, some languages, and the confidence I have gained through my travels in my ability to survive and thrive, this time next year, I could be anywhere.
It’s only natural to be afraid of the mysterious. It’s human instinct to experience fear when stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. I know there will be hardship, a thousand petty humiliations, and even more tears. It will be treacherous, laborious and immensely challenging. I can vaguely see the warning signs staked out along the side of the road. I see three choices here: let fear immobilize me, destroy me, or strengthen me.
The world is too big and I have too many aspirations to choose the first two.
There is nowhere to go but forward.
So what will the UK be?
A dazzling world of possibilities for a young 20-something to build her life with.