The Brave One

Coming from a very modest background, I never left the country until my mid 20s.

I was scheduled for a business trip to Sweden.  I was excited.  Very, very excited.  I had parlayed three days in Stockholm into three weeks crossing the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.  I was working on Italy when my boss told me I better quit while I was ahead.

Two weeks before my departure, I broke my foot.  These things happen.  By me, they happen a lot.  Everyone assumed I would cancel my trip.  No way.

Many people told me I was brave.  To go halfway around the world, by myself, on crutches.  But it felt like an adventure.  It didn’t feel like something brave.

When my grandmother came from Europe to this country, she came third class on a boat.  She was a teenager responsible for her younger sister.  When she said goodbye to the rest of her family, it was forever.  She had little money in her pocket and little English on her tongue.

I was flying business class.  I had credit cards and traveler checks and a toll-free emergency number in my wallet.  I had email to keep in touch.  I had hotel reservations and dinner engagements.  I had Fodor’s guides.  Everyone was speaking perfect English.

Me?  I’m not the brave one in this story.  Not by a long shot.

© 2017 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.

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