Do you ever wonder what happens when you dare to fulfill your dreams? by Karolina Kozłowska

Life-changing experiences are a part of our lives. Although sometimes we look for them for a very long time, they usually come unexpectedly and may leave unnoticed. 

Tough as it seems for the adventure to be caught, there’s a small group of people who know how to recognize its call when it knocks to their door. And I never thought that I might belong to that group.

During my whole life, I’ve always believed that the adventures pass me by. I was craving for one, not being able to see that the only thing that holds me back is my own fear. 

I was working in a corporation, studying in the last year of the university, my days were long and unsatisfying. I couldn’t even say that I had friends anymore- they were just a fading shadow of my past, not about to reappear anytime soon. 

And on one of the days, exactly like today, a very nondeceptive thought beat its way to my mind. What if I decided to go to one of the places I’ve never been to? What if the adventure is calling for me and I refuse to answer?

Some of the situations occurring in my life at that very moment led me to the big decision. I will not ignore the call this time just to spend another year exactly as the previous one. This time I will walk and cross the border of my fear of the unknown.

When I finished my research and made a decision on which place to go to volunteer abroad, a signed notice had already lain on my desk. I have never felt more independent than at that moment.

I started my journey in Portugal which entranced me from the first second I set my foot on its territory. After a few beautiful days I spent there, I set off to my destination- with some long transfers on three different airports, I was finally breathing South American air. It was in the middle of the night and I was completely exhausted after the longest journey of my life, but wouldn’t switch my place with anyone in the world. I was finally there- in Peru, the land of alpacas and beautiful landscapes. 

The next two months I spent working in a center helping the disabled children to integrate with society. I was living with a typical Peruvian family, getting to know the habits, culture, and food, traveling around and meeting new people. 

Coming back to Europe, I spent some days in Madrid, and on a cold September day, I was back in Cracow. It was the longest period of my life I have ever spent abroad. And at that moment I didn’t know that it wasn’t gonna be the end of the story.

From the place I am now, I can say that it was the bravest decision I have ever made. It led me to want something more from life, something more than just the food, money and a place to stay. Something more than a stable job and the comfort you feel when you are in the place you know. It was my call to dive into the unknown. And it didn’t disappear unnoticed.

The result? I am writing these words from one of the cities in the South of Portugal, the country that attracted me the most and didn’t let me calmly go back to my reality in Poland anymore. The adventure anchored in my heart. It invited me, hugged me and it’s holding me since the first moment that the thought of dropping in Portugal plunged into my head because this country offered me the feeling I was missing. For the first time in my life, I could finally say: I am home.

Is your adventure there? Maybe. Who knows it better than you? It might be knocking to your door at this moment, waiting for you to open. And it’s your turn to catch it now.

So go out and do what you were born to do. Who knows? Maybe in a year, I will be reading the description of your adventure…

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