It’s my final day in the U.S. and I feel no different then I did when I first dreamed of traveling the world with Jack, during our freshman year of high school. Yet here I am, just 24 hours away from doing exactly what I though would just be a dream. On the drive out to the airport I reminisce about all the twists and turns that have brought me here to this day. The hard work, the planning, the dreams, and the guidance from our parents that went into making this trip possible. Finally, I stand in the airport with an uneasy feeling as I wave goodbye to my parents and girlfriend as I walk over to security. As I walk I begin to realize what I am really leaving behind in my final goodbyes. That’s my childhood. Everything, everyone, and every place I’ve held dear in my home town of Bethesda is now behind me. Well at least for the next 6 months…. still my gut swirls with the wild uncertainty of what lies ahead. Yet I remain optimistic as I think of the opportunities that will present themselves to me on the other side of the world. It’s the end of a chapter in the linear timeline of my life. As much as I want to look back I can only move forward this time without any guidance from parents, siblings, or friends. It’s just me and my best friend writing the next chapter of our lives in permanent ink.