Now for the big stuff. What I learned from my first backpacking experience in Europe:
-Life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes you're waiting in line, sometimes you're at the top of the hill, sometimes you're rushing downward at 100 miles per hour. Take it all in. the best part isn't always the rush.
-There is no right answer. Sometimes you just have to make the decision you can live with.
-Travel brings out the best and worst in people. Embrace one, forget the other.
-Take advantage of every opportunity. Some things you may never get the chance to experience again.
-Make a decision and stick with it. Don't always follow the herd. They're not always right.
-Stay calm and be flexible. Freaking out makes things worse. Just try to enjoy the new plan. Sometimes it turns out to be better than the old one. The fun really is in the adventure of getting there, sometimes.
-Don't underestimate the power of music. Even when there is nothing playing, the songs will find you.
-Learn to be yourself, by yourself. Who you really are is sometimes surprising.
-Laugh. Good times, bad times, whatever. Just laugh. It's the perfect solution.
-Live in the present. It'll be the past too soon. Enjoy everything as it comes.
-You're stronger than you think.
-Age determines nothing. Maturity is measured by life's experiences ... so go experience things.