Single Girl Diaries: Eurotrip: Discovering hopes for the future in a foreign land

(ADVENTURE) Columnist Ellise Verheyen on current obsessions and future plans.

To the people of my(ish) generation, I need you to do a favo(u)r. Think back to middle school/early high school. Were you ever obsessed with YouTube? Are you currently obsessed with one or more YouTuber(s)?

I need confirmation that I’m not the only one because I thought I was out of this phase of my life, but apparently I’m not.

After arriving in England, I discovered I have a lot more free time on my hands than I’ve had in years. Of course, I should be spending every waking second of my time here exploring, but I’ve found myself dedicating the wee hours of the night to my new favo(u)rite YouTube sensations.

Most of the YouTubers I follow are just mindless entertainment with little content other than what’s going on in their lives. If you’ve never heard of Dan and Phil, I suggest watching them — but only if you like adorable British nerds with endearing personalities and awkward moments.

Obsessed might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve committed far too much time to watching Phil play a game in which he’s a mother badger protecting her babies. Four full videos’ worth of time … I’m not ashamed.

Aside from the silly videos, I’ve also stumbled upon a number of other amazing channels. I’ve spent the last day dedicated to Premiere Pro CC videos so that I have some vague idea of what I’m doing when editing.

My interest in video sparked from a channel called JacksGap. It began with a British teen documenting his gap year before school but has transformed into a beautiful storytelling organization that travels the world, documenting the lives of the people they discover.

To be completely honest, I originally started watching this channel because two extremely attractive British twins my age ran it, but the work that they’ve done since kept me around. It’s beyond inspiring and has done a fantastic job of helping me as a photojournalism student explore an outlet I hadn’t fully considered.

While I expected my study abroad experience to potentially impact my future goals and plans, I didn’t think it would spur from a YouTube channel I watched in my free time.

And while I fully expected to meet new people that may be great connections for my future, I didn’t expect one of those people to be an MU student studying alongside me.

I didn’t know the majority of the students on our trip, but I’ve discovered that they’re all pretty great. And when I met a funny, imaginative girl named Katie, I didn’t think we’d decide we wanted to create a business together. But we do.

Katie, a fellow JacksGap viewer, and I share a similar passion for visual storytelling and content creation; therefore, we’ve decided to explore the idea of a company further. We even made an Instagram (subtle plug: It’s @veks_visuals) that documents our travels in Europe.

Who knew that I’d have to travel halfway around the world to discover something that I could’ve just as easily done from the comfort of Columbia?

So that’s my update this week. It sounds silly, but I’ve never been so excited for the future. I’m scared and feel like there is no way I could ever do something like this, but it feels so right.

On a lighter, less “Holy crap, the future is terrifying note,” here’s one of my many awkward moments at Sainsbury’s this week:

While intentionally wearing headphones to avoid the crazies, a man gently tapped my shoulder until I acknowledged his too-close presence. He muttered something incomprehensible and I asked him to repeat. Apparently, he liked my style (i.e., leggings, white v-neck and ponytail …).

I said thank you in hopes that that would end the conversation, but as-per-usual, it didn’t. Questions came pouring out of this greasy-haired, bearded guy, but his thick Eastern accent made it difficult to understand.

Eventually, I had to cut him off and say nice to meet you. He (I think he said his name was Sun …) insisted on a handshake before he let me be.

Do I have a face that says, “please make me uncomfortable,” or is it a sick joke the universe likes to play on me?

The world may never know.

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