Looking Back on 14 days of Love, Passion, Clarity and Growth

DISCLAIMER: This post was particularly difficult for me to put on here because it’s extremely personal. However, with careful thought I decided to share it with you. My most recent trip to Europe taught me a lot of things and helped me grow as a person. I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been feeling since I got home and what I learned along the way. 

It’s been one week since I returned from one of the best vacations of my life. My sleep schedule is still a bit off {thank you English Breakfast Tea for making my mornings a little easier}, my feet are aching for the cobblestone streets and 10 mile hikes through cities we got lost in, and my heart is exploding with the appreciation, love and passion I welcomed the entire two weeks I was traveling through Europe.

Traveling is a passion of mine. This might be hard for the people closest to me to understand given my ability to over worry, be anxious about small things and my fear of flying, but they understand that when I’m traveling I do what I do best. One of my best friends said it perfectly the day I started my adventure in Barcelona, “Hi, I’m Emily Olson. I travel the world and make people fall in love with me everywhere I go. I love good coffee, make strong impressions and see beauty in everything.” {You know who you are and I love you so much for saying that.} Every word of it is true. I love meeting new people, having a conversation with a total stranger, smiling, enjoying good coffee, food and wine, and taking a moment to just sit and appreciate everything beautiful around me. That is exactly what I did on my two week adventure through Barcelona, Paris and London.

For two weeks I was surrounded by architecture that took my breath away {thank you Gaudi}, Churches that have stood for hundreds of years {Notre Dame}, and monuments that had withstood triumph, turmoil, victory, war and hardship. I walked down narrow cobblestone streets where history was made, monarchies ruled and millions of people have visited. I’ve stood at the base of grandness {Eiffel Tower} and tributes to God {La Sagrada Familia}. I walked the halls of a chateau that French Revolutionists raided and saw the doorway Maria Antoinette tried to escape from. I walked through museums filled with Monet, Matisse, Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Degas, Da Vinci and Turner. I traveled The Channel Tunnel and stood on the ground where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. Every step of the way I was overcome with emotion and many times brought to tears. The entire journey was an emotional one for me not in a negative way but in a way that gave me a larger appreciation for life.

Traveling by no means is easy or hard. We got lost, we dealt with language barriers, we got cold & wet, but we made the most of it. Through the adventure we became even more patient and kind. We smiled more, laughed harder and were filled with joy as we grew. Even though I was only gone for 14 days I was still impacted immensely. I grew as I moved from city to city. I dealt with fears that may have been adventures to others and came across things that were unplanned. You can plan or not plan all you want, but the trip will still surprise you. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My heart is heavy, my brain is exploding and I want to retrace every step and moment from the last two weeks. I’ve come home more independent, stronger and with a new way of looking at the world around me. I just hope I can hold on to these feelings a bit longer. I spent a lot of time taking everything in and enjoying the moment. Every day I said to myself you are really here, you did it and live each moment. I thought about the relationships I have and the moments I have experienced. I was thankful for each and every person who has been in my life and for every breath I’ve taken. Even though we rushed through three cities and saw as many sights as possible, I still stopped and took a moment to be thankful and appreciate being there. We laughed until our stomachs hurt, had deep conversations over dinner about the day, culture and what we were experiencing and of course I cried. Every moment of every day I was surrounded by love, passion, clarity and beauty. Every day I experienced, learned and saw something new. Being gone made me want to learn more and immerse myself into new things. My comfort level expanded and I became even more open.

I wish so much I could explain in perfect words what this trip was for me but everyone is different, everyone feels and experiences things their own way. You will just have to go and experience it for yourself and if you do you can guarantee that I will want to go back with you and experience everything standing by your side.

If you made it to the end, thank you. Thank you for letting me be emotional and vulnerable for a moment and thank you for reading.


I need to take a moment and thank my family and friends for putting up with my worries and anxieties for months before I left. You love me for me and I love each and every one of you. I couldn’t have done it without your help, and I’m so glad you pushed me to go. xxxooo 


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