Go so far your comfort zone can’t follow.
I’m a natural follower. If I don’t know how to do something, I will avoid it at all costs.
The first time I went to Mongolian Grill, I was so confused. And TERRIFIED. So many choices and I didn’t know the proper order for any of the lines. I carefully followed my friends, choosing very little for my bowl the first time around. The second time (because I’m still hungry from not getting enough food the first time), I felt only slightly more confident. This time I got really fancy and added a sauce! Yeah, take that scary confusion!
As you can tell, I’m not the most ‘out there’, crazy woman. But I learned something new and enjoyed new food combinations! Now food is great reason to celebrate!
A little less than a year ago, I embarked on yet an even scarier confusing bundle of lines – a train station, in fact! Previously, mind you, the only train I had been on went in a circle, stopped for an old western show, and 1 stop. (You can find this gem at Huckleberry Railroad!) But last July, I landed in Frankfurt, Germany and boarded my first multi-stop train! Leading up to this grand trial of my nerves, I had asked my Germany-residing friends many, many, maaaany questions. Like “Where exactly is the train station?”, “What do I do if miss it?”, and “Are you sure you can’t get me from the airport?”.
This American girl was in for a trip. First, the train was not where my friends had me believe it was – I had to take an extra bus to get to the station. I was all alone and I asked every single airport worker and bus driver if I was going to the correct place. You should probably know that I’m terrible at directions…Like super bad.
Once I finally got on the train, I found another girl who looked like she was totally used to the whole train experience and sat with her. My goal was not look like I was alone. *fingers crossed*.
45 minutes in to this train ride, I get up the courage to show the train stewardess my ticket and as “Is this correct?” Her response? A face that communicated Oh no. She speaks English and I don’t. And I have no idea what she’s asking me….
Not the most comforting reply. Also, not her fault at all. I was the foreigner and man, I was wishing I had taken any German. Well, this sweet chick got me someone who spoke a little English, who ensured me I was on the right train, just not the right car. Whew!
Knowing the length of time I should be on the train, I set a timer on my phone for when I should get off. And as my new friends ended their shift, got off at a station to be replaced by new, unfamiliar train stewardesses, this bundle of nerves was just trying to not panic! My mind played out scenarios and solutions in case I missed my station. Thank God, I didn’t! This was just short of a miracle!
My dear friend Carol welcomed me with open arms after I lugged my huge suitcase off the train! We took a picture and sent it to my mom – proof that I was going to survive this crazy trip!
I wish I could say the rest of this 2 month trip was all uphill from there. But then I wouldn’t have learned nearly as much as I did. Every day was a step of faith followed by a test of that faith. God watched over me and protected me in so many ways.
As I reflect on these crazy-awesome memories, that travel-crazed feeling works its way back under my skin 🙂
If you’ve had a similar experience, or maybe a less train-wreck-but-still-learned-a-lot experience, please shoot me an email! I want to hear aaaallll about it!
You can get ahold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you around,