Almost all my time in Europe has been spent in large cities. That wasn't a goal, it was a side effect of striving to maintain a high interesting-things-per-day ratio. I didn't notice how enervating this city-hopping had been until my toes met the sand at a quiet beach, half an hour out of Barcelona. And then I instantaneously realized this was exactly what I'd been needing.

I got to giggling, mostly internally: I'm in Europe. Yup, me. I've been here for a while now. Why? Well, because I felt like it. Why did I go to Sitges today? Felt like it. Why did I wander in the direction of the beach? Felt like it. Giggles all around.

This has occurred frequently in the last five and a half weeks. Whenever I take a moment to notice what I'm doing, I giggle. On this occasion, with more moments at its disposal, my brain forged ahead.

Why didn't I realize I wanted to spend an afternoon at a quiet beach? In a way, I did, since that's how I spent my afternoon. But I didn't have any idea how nice it would feel. It was just what I'd been missing. Why should I have been missing anything? Why should I have missed thinking that I wanted this? Was it just that I didn't think about it?

Why did it take me so long to start traveling in earnest? I could have traveled the USA or Europe years ago. Was it just that I didn't have the money or the time? I parted ways with the day job in mid-November, with plenty of savings to coast on for a while, yet coasting is all I did for months — until friends offered to let me join them on their own trips. Where was my initiative?

I find life easy to enjoy in general. I tend to go along easily with whatever's happening, wherever I am, whoever's with me. I also tend to fall into routines. My brain tends to categorize activities into “things I can do” and “things only other people can do,” and over the last several years has permanently stored many activities in category B (for reasons that proved temporary, but they're already stored). So it was very easy for me not to think about needing to do anything unusual, such as going to Europe. Or if I did notice that I wanted to do something like that, it would've been easy for me to decide I couldn't afford it. Or some other reason why not me, not now.

I'm going to college in two months; it is, without question, the best undergraduate program for me in the United States. I'm in Europe doing just as I please. I'm ready to seize the opportunities I've always had. I'm learning the habit of seizing them.

At Sitges, toes in the white sand, this all became clear. The world is mine. Whatever I want to do with it, in it, about it, is entirely up to me.

The world is mine. It always was. Now I know it.