It's funny, because my travel experiences didn't replace the stories I love to read. No matter how much I travel, I doubt I'll sacrifice my life in the French Revolution, waver in indecision over whether I should take revenge on the king who murdered my father and married my mother, or walk through hell, purgatory, and heaven before coming back to tell the story. Maybe I'll never even fall deeply and irrevocably in love, save someone's life, or sacrifice everything I have for a cause I believe in. Life can't replace stories, just like stories can't replace life; each simply heightens the other.
When I got the rejection email, I drew in my breath in shock and waited for the exhale, for the sinking, crushing disappointment. But instead, I felt...liberated. If I had gotten the scholarship, I would have been locked into my grad school plan, which isn't a bad thing. However, without the scholarship, my options opened up.