Often times people believe that success is elusive, but in reality, “Your success depends mainly upon what you think of yourself and whether you believe in yourself,” as stated by William J. H. Boetcker.  My story starts well before my trip to Europe last year, but it wasn’t until that trip that I realized how important it is to believe in yourself.

At 11 in the morning I boarded my first train to Sweden. It was a clean train that felt welcoming. I was safe and ready to embark on this adventure. As the train began to move, all I could think of was being completely alone for the next 20 hours. Everything was fine, until I fell asleep on my first train. I woke up to three young Swedish women asking me if I was at my stop. Quickly I asked, “Malmo?” which was my destination. All three of them responded “Yes” simultaneously and so I smiled at them before charging off the train. As I was walking through the train station I thought to myself, “Finally, I’m in Sweden”. I felt a small mental boost when I realized I was not completely lost. Then, I decided to find my next departure track. Keep in mind that all of the signs were in Swedish, making them impossible to decipher. This made it very difficult to find the track which was not on any of the monitors. Instead of losing it, I decided to speak to the tourist information desk. After hours of discussion, I was told there was rubble on the train track and my train was cancelled. The next thing I knew I was rerouted on a bus going through the entirety of the southern Swedish countryside. At this point in the day you might think that I had had my fill of chaos, but the day had just begun. I arrived to Stockholm and looked for a monitor that displayed my next bus. Eventually, after a bit of asking around, I found that my bus would not leave the station for another 5 hours. I knew I had a lot of time and I had not seen the city of Stockholm yet. So I decided to grab my skateboard and rode as far as I could. I road my board all the way down a walking street until I reached a huge church. Then, I decided to turn around because the road split and was no longer a straight line. On my way back I saw a small coffee shop and decided to sit down and hang out for a bit. I was then able to connect with my friends and family to let them know that everything was well. Then, after a nice and warm cup of coffee, I rode back to the bus station. A couple hours later my bus departed but I realized that the bus was going to take an hour, and the fairy was going to take another three hours. I started to get frustrated and threw a fit in my mind. I was so eager to just meet my friends and go to sleep. Once we reached the fairy, I quickly boarded and found my seat. 389 C to be exact. I was so glad to be on the final stretch of my journey. Eventually, at 7 am the next day, I arrived to the island of Fårö, where I closed my eyes thirty-six hours after leaving Copenhagen the day before. It felt so rewarding to lie down.

After this exhausting day and a half of travel, I had learned two important things. The first was being able to deal with a situation gone wrong and the second was being able to believe in myself to then solve a problem. I knew that the best way to deal with a complication was to keep calm. Throughout the next couple of weeks I had a deeper connection with Europe and myself. I realized that I was on my own and I had to rely on myself, but the experiences that came with this were unforgettable. I think that due to these experiences I can now travel anywhere by believing in my ability to keep calm and solve problems efficiently.

I think it is important that I am able to believe in myself when I try to solve any type of problem. I must have confidence when it comes to facing problems alone. Being able to trust myself has been an important part of becoming an independent person. Sometimes it takes a difficult situation to really understand the importance of self confidence, but when you achieve this it can change your perspective on the world. I became a lot more confident as an individual when I started to trust myself. Trusting myself has allowed me to trust others and understand people in a deeper way. It only took two long days for me to really know my capabilities.