aller

| to go (verb) | /ale/

The academic year has come to an end, so I’m burdened with copious amounts of time. I am legally obligated to stay in France until my contract ends on July 15th, since I have several administrative tasks that must be completed at the university.

I spend a lot of my time alone. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve had trouble establishing intimate relationships here in Lille. I find it hard to connect to people. (Is it my fault? Am I dull?) As a result, I allocate my time to working meticulously on what few tasks remain, to spending time with my roommate and my boyfriend, and to reading books until 7 AM.

This is how I found myself awake at 2 AM scanning flight prices for Scotland at the end of May. There is too much time, and idleness translates to madness.

I’ve already booked a trip to Rome in mid-May, so that my boyfriend can meet my family. Thus, he cannot afford to travel again until June. I have no other travel companions. But, at the same time, I cannot resign myself to moping around Lille for two weeks, when I have the means and opportunity to travel.

I hesitated, arguing internally for half an hour. Could I really go alone? Did I trust myself not to become lonely and listless? Was it too expensive? Reckless? Would this negatively affect my work in any way?

Finally, I realized that I had been making ridiculous excuses for years now. I have always wanted to visit the Scottish Highlands, but the time never seemed right. How stupid. The time is always right. Just go.

I hate how people tell me, “Wow, you’re so lucky! You’ve travelled the world! I’m so jealous.” I am not lucky. I got here, because I made travel a priority. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. If you really want to go, you can do it. Stop telling yourself you’ll do it later, when you have the time, when you have the means, when you have the goddamn courage.

Just shut up and go.

About Gabriella

I'm a twenty-something insomniac with a caffeine addiction and chronic wanderlust. I recently graduated with my M.A. in French, and I've spent the past two years living and working as an English teacher in France. I now work as an English professor at a university in Lille, where my students are learning to never omit the Oxford comma.
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