I’ve always read that you should travel alone in your 20s at least once, so this past summer, I took a 2-week solo trip to Europe.
I hit up London, Milan, Lake Como, and then briefly London again. It had been my dream to go back to Milan since studying abroad there during college.
Despite it being a solo trip, I was rarely alone (thanks to many loving friends all over the world!). Lago di Como was the first time I was actually all by myself.
I spent just one night there toward the end of my trip, and it was exactly what I needed at the time.
Before this trip, I had embarked on a serious “figuring it out” phase of my life.
I finally found a career path that I was passionate about and coincided perfectly with the journey I was already on.
I was indeed getting my shit together, but right before this trip, I began to lose momentum. I felt defeated—a feeling I’ve felt time and time again.
Everything really hit when I was in Lake Como. I was alone, out of my normal environment, and forced to actually press pause and work through my thoughts and feelings.
There I was, in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I was still unhappy to a certain degree.
Considering I’ve been into self-help for years, admitting to myself and accepting that I still wasn’t completely happy was extremely difficult. I was ahead of the curve: I had done the hard work (or at least most of it) and finally found my life purpose, so why was I still feeling this way?
This was when I had the first fleeting thought that I, Marisa Barnard, glam girl who is all things NYC, might not actually belong in New York after all.
Despite loving the life I had created there, something was still not right. Something within me was still not right—I wasn’t being completely honest with myself.
There are many lessons in this story, but looking back, this one hits home the most: you can ignore, overlook, resist, and run away from your problems, but they will always catch up with you.
Whether you want to or not, you will have to eventually face them—even in the midst of exploring one of the most stunning and magical places in the world ✨❤️