Whenever I see a plane flying through the sky I long to be a passenger, soaring into the horizon, fearless and free.
Sometimes I worry that I have not lived enough. I often feel like there is a whole entire world out there I have yet to see, that I crave to see but that I fear I will never see. I feel as if every moment at home sitting on the couch with the television on or in my bed asleep I am wasting my life. Sometimes I feel the closest I will ever get to traveling the world is reading about exotic places on glossy pages of a travel magazine. It has been my dream to travel ever since I can remember.
When I was three years old my dad gave me a figurine of an airplane. I remember tracing my finger along the slender top and imaging the day I would spend on an airplane just like that, looking out the small square window in the middle of the blue sky. Like many kids I loved fairy tales and picture books but some of my favorite books were atlases. I was immersed and enchanted by the world. It didn’t take long before I had memorized every country, capital and major city on all seven continents. I sent my dolls on vacations to exotic places like Madagascar and Mongolia, I researched countries and colored in maps for fun. I dreamed of visiting places full of haunting mysteries, incredible architecture, stories and cultures that were so different from anything I had ever experienced. You could say I was obsessed, you could also say it was my destiny.
Seventh grade was when my eating disorder came full speed ahead and my desire and enchantment with traveling dwindled. I began to feel as if my dreams of exploration were too far-fetched, I doubted they would ever happen. I stopped myself from dreaming unachievable dreams that I thought were so far out of reach someone like me. I never told anyone how badly I wanted to see the world because I was ashamed and I didn’t think I could handle the hearing what my mom had said to me the first time I expressed that I wanted to be an explore, an archeologist, or a journalist “Those jobs are dangerous Rachel, there is no way you could do that”. She meant this out of love, those jobs are risky and hard to come by, but if flipped my identity upside down. As if all I’d ever known about myself was suddenly falsified. So I filled the void that was once filled with dreams of exploring foreign lands with the only two things I realized I had control over, how my body looked and the food I put into it.
While I am getting closer and closer to recovery nowadays my thrist for travel has come back like a breath of fresh air, wrapping around me like a loving hug from an old friend. January 12 of this year I was booked to fly to Granada, Spain to study abroad there for the semester. I was so excited, my dreams were coming true. Unfortuntaly my dreams once angain were stolen by the eating disorder. Incredibly low heart rate and weight two weeks before I was to depart for Granada made my dreams once again seem further and further away. Losing Spain is probably the biggest wake up call to a hundred percent recover, never again will I let ED take anything from me ever again. And that right there is a promise. My days of daydreaming no longer have to just be dreams, they can be my reality. My fearfulness is soon to be fearlessness.