My Own Hero’s Journey

Elise Rockwell - Ecuador


August 24, 2019

My name is Elise Rockwell, and I am moving to Ecuador for 7 months with the program Global Citizen Year.   

There are plenty of things I could write about, but I am not going to write about what my future holds in the next year because you will see that for yourself (if you so choose). Right now, I am going to write about who I am, in this moment, for I know how much change will occur in my environment and therefore myself in the coming months. 

I have chosen to take a gap year, not just because I love to travel, but because I want to participate in my own hero’s journey. I know that sounds cliche, and that’s because it is, but that’s life. It would be foolish of me to say that I have never had an experience with living abroad or dealing with foreign places or things, because I have, but I haven’t done it alone. This is not to say that I am choosing to fling myself into a new country for the sake of a challenge, because the last thing I ever want to do is to measure my worth by constantly proving someone wrong. I am taking a gap year because:

This journey will be a challenge, and I am ready to take it on. 

I am ready to be uncomfortable

To learn a new language

To be naive

To make mistakes, (frequently) 

To be scared and frustrated 

And most of all, I am ready to learn and change.

I am so exited to be in an environment where I am not expected to be perfect, where deadlines are not as important as community, where people work to live, instead of living to work. 

I am so exited to delete the American machine that has been programmed inside me since I was born, so that I may simply live and remember what makes life beautiful. Because unlike what I’ve been programed to think, Life is not money, it’s not fame, power, or one’s ACT score.

I am so exited to leave those flippant values behind me. 

The time has come to begin life as a fully autonomous person, and, because I am me, of course I must do it with a bang. Life is far too short to casually walk into “adulthood.” Life is also too short to take the concept of “adulthood” seriously, because it’s absurd, and we all know it. That is why I am putting myself in a position in which I will not be in control over the environment around me, therefore pushing myself to leap outside of my box and think differently.

This Journey will be a challenge. And that is exactly what I need. 

Thank you to everyone for all the support, I will see you on the other side. 

Important songs surrounding my departure:

  • Stay The Same – Bent

  • Never Be The Same – Ulrich Schnauss

  • Goodbye- Ulrich Schnauss 

  • Ultrafiche of You- Com Truise 

  • Vienna- Ultravox 

Elise Rockwell