Lucky, Privileged, Grateful

Writing From: The bus from Galway to Cork, Ireland

My first day in Galway, I walked to the Spanish Arch, a popular spot for both locals and tourists to gather, relax, and people watch. The Spanish Arch was built in 1854 as part of a wall system to defend the city's quays, and are the only parts of the wall that still remain. As such, it's a great spot to sit in the green area and enjoy old stone architecture while overlooking the river. I came here with an iced coffee and a snack, and sat for a while to reflect and watch the seagulls fight each other over pieces of scrap food. 

As I sat there, I remembered the woman in line before me at the passport check desk in the Dublin Airport. She looked like she was from East Asia/Pacific Islands, and had pulled out an entire manila package filled with different documents, was nervously struggling with her English, and spoke with the border agent for quite a while. I felt my impatience building. Finally, she was let through, and I was up next. I flashed a smile to the agent, said hello, and handed her my passport. She asked me a few questions, "How long will you be in Ireland?" "Where are you staying?" "Where are you going next?" "How long are you traveling for?" and I just responded with simple answers and even joked around with her, mentioning that I'm traveling solo- much to my parents' dismay. She chuckled, and just like that, handed back my passport- my American passport- and told me to have a nice stay. It's times like these that I have to stop and recognize just how fortunate I am to have been born into the situation I am in, which provides me with an exorbitant amount of privilege, one of which is to travel freely to nearly anywhere in the world without a second thought. 

As I thought over this flashback, I pulled out my journal and wrote down the many ways in which I have been so fortunate in my life and how that now allows me to be on this journey. I'd like to share an excerpt of that with you, dear reader, if you don't mind. If you enjoy it, or have any response to it, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments :)

I'm almost in tears again, suddenly. But I think this time, it's because I feel so lucky to be here. Lucky to have the courage to go out on my own, lucky to feel this pull from my soul to travel, lucky to have people to both support and miss me, lucky to have a passport that lets me go pretty much anywhere. Lucky to have a face and demeanor that lets me through customs without hassle, lucky to have the opportunities to have made this even remotely financially possible. Lucky to have a healthy, active body that allows me to walk 10 miles a day or travel for 48 hours straight with 2 backpacks weighing 30 kgs on my back, all with 3 hours of sleep. Lucky to live in an age of technological advancement, making travel and communication that much easier, thus making the world a little bit smaller. Lucky to find the beauty in new landscapes and cities, the kindness in strangers, and enjoyment in solitude. 

I am so lucky.
I am so grateful.
I am so happy.