in a few days, i fly to new york city to embark on a brand new chapter.

life could not be better right now; there is so much to be grateful for and to look forward to. so much uncertainty but this is the beauty of having infinite possibilities of lives to live. this is the greatest joy of youth, i think.

i used to think the greatest joy of youth was bodily health & resilience; i think now it’s time richness, the possibility of designing a life to look forward to.

this has been a magical, transformative summer. i’ve been very offline - not on-brand for kristiehuang.eth, but very on-brand for irl kristie. i spent four full months since graduation travelling, hanging out with loved ones, sleeping in.

in summary: 6 weeks in europe, 4 of them solo in switzerland & italy; backpacking in mt rainier np; hiking 1/3 of the tour du mont blanc with a tour group; chasing waterfalls in oregon; swimming in remote alpine lakes in tahoe.

some musings. why i wanted to travel solo?

  • to show myself how capable i am
  • to mark the beginning of a new phase of independent life out in the great big world
  • adventure!

what i enjoyed the most?

  • being on vacation, obvi. no real problems, long days spent being a tourist and peoplewatching by the water. my head felt lighter
  • daydreaming about what life could be, the unlived lives behind me and the 100 alternate lives that could be.
  • the euphoria of freedom, the slow, quiet experience of solo travel and time to reflect.

what i didn’t enjoy?

  • feeling out of place, wanting to feel belonging

what’d i learn from all that time solo?

  • seeing more of the world & more of the people in this world. => my life is MINE to design; i am in full ownership of it
  • the importance of having role models: older, younger, look like you, don’t look like you, similar, different
  • related: overcoming my fear of growing older, i think
    • i remember turning 17 in my childhood bedroom thinking that i was growing up too quickly. i’m almost 22 now, and time seems to pass so quickly when you look back. i was terrified of growing older, being locked down by work/family responsibilities and health limitations.
    • but broadening my worldview, meeting more of the people in this world and how they live their lives, made me truly believe that the possibilities for alternate lives are infinite. seeing is believing!
  • keeping active (taking the stairs, parking further away, weightlifting) is the #1 thing you can do for your body, there is no excuse.
    • after a grueling 7-hour hike day all i wanted to do was to take the elevator up to my room and crash. the (ultra-ripped) mid-60s dad in my group took the stairs.
  • travelling with a tour group is like being at adult summer camp… more of this pls

having a life to look forward to, the feeling of something to look forward to, is probably the #1 feeling in the world…

i keep the ‘top 5 regrets of the dying’ bookmarked on my goals document - because the overarching theme is the regret of unfulfilled dreams, yearning for lost time to go back and fulfill them.

so this life right now - this life of dreams and possibilities and futures - possibilities of 100 alternate lives - i can’t be more grateful or ask for more.

photos of my adventures @kristieintheworld