By Jessica Moreno

* An idea from another member in Leviathan sparked my memory about this piece that I previously wrote for a creative writing class, which I am about to dive into. This member and peer started to speak about her idea, sharing why it is important for her to travel and gain new experiences. This inspired me to share my own personal thoughts of why I want to travel, and other people may relate to these thoughts. *

My instructor had given us a newspaper in the beginning of my creative writing class. He instructed us to flip through it to find single words, sentences, or paragraphs and fashion a piece of our own. As I was cutting the essay we were given, I didn’t know what I was planning on creating, and I didn’t know what I wanted to say. After I flipped through the essay multiple times with nothing catching my attention, out of the blue I noticed on the front page a particular sentence that stood out: “see the beautiful things. Change of scenery.” This sentence spoke to me; it gave me a brilliant idea of what I wanted to write along the lines of traveling.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to travel around the world, but there’s always been something blocking my way. I found and cut bits and pieces from the essay, creating something I was feeling and had been feeling for a while:

“Imagine traveling. See the beautiful things. Change of scenery. Pleasures of the eye are worth a trip! Let’s visit the Eiffel Tower. Naples. Gothic cathedrals. In all its original glory. But beautiful things aren’t all beautiful. Have a change of heart. Don’t stop me. My heart is pounding.”

Creating this wasn’t easy for me, especially the last few sentences because I was trying to picture how I would say this aloud. The last sentences are me speaking to my parents: “Have a change of heart. Don’t stop me.” It’s something I wish I could tell them face to face. I’m close to my parents, I call them both on a weekly basis – my mom more so than my dad. I can talk to them almost about anything, except this. They don’t seem to understand why I want to travel while I’m still in school, and it frustrates me. They think I’m going to go there and not worry about my studies, but they’re dead wrong. I would go to this exotic and glorious place to explore and focus on my studies. It drives me insane, but they refuse and refuse. “Just wait till you graduate college”, they say, but what they can’t wrap around their brain is that I can’t wait that long. I’ll be paying off student loans by the time I graduate and won’t have time to travel. Which is why now is the perfect time! I don’t want to be like them, they never traveled at a young age. I’m not them, I’m my own person who has her own desires. Let me take the chance to chase after my dreams. I want them to let me step outside the box and give me the opportunity to try something new. I’ve tried to talk to them multiple times about my desire to travel, but as soon as I bring it up, it’s shut down.

Why can’t they see that this is what I want? I think that they’re scared, but why? Are they afraid that I won’t be in reach of their parental and overpowering grip? They shouldn’t be worried, I’m not that little girl who has tea parties with her dolls anymore. I’ve grown up. I am able to take care of myself. They shouldn’t be the ones who are scared, I’m the one who should be. I’m scared that I’ll never be released from their tight grip. I’m scared that they won’t stop treating and seeing me as the little girl I’m not. I’m scared that I’ll never get to explore mysterious and far off countries. I want to see all the beautiful places now, Greece, Italy, London, Australia, you name it! I want to take in all the magnificent beauty of the mysterious and far off places. This is a fantasy I no longer want to imagine. I want to get lost in these places, I want to feel awkward asking the locals for directions or to translate something for me. I want to try all the foods that are foreign to my tongue. I want to be in a place that is unfamiliar, yet exciting. It’s an adventure. I get tired of seeing the same thing everyday, I want my eyes to feast on something new. This is something I’ve been craving for as long as I can remember, it’s something I’ve been wishing to do since I was in middle school, but I hate the fact that I can’t tell my parents this. Soon, soon I’ll find the courage and tell them when I’m ready to, but soon doesn’t feel soon enough. If I keep putting it off I’ll never find the strength. I need to step out of that comfort zone. It’s always terrifying to tell the ones you love that you don’t agree with them, but it feels so good once it’s out in the open – like taking a breath of fresh air after seeing how long you can hold your breath underwater. I want to have that feeling when I tell them, to finally breath and feel at ease after what’s felt like years of holding in my breath. Take a deep breath in and out… In and out…

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