There comes a moment in every person's progression as a rider when they suddenly realize: I can go anywhere.
I know how to change a flat. I know my way around these mountain passes well enough to just start riding, and let the route plan itself. I have enough cash in my pocket to get snacks if I need, or hell, a full lunch if it becomes an 8 hour day.
In that moment, there is a limitless kind of freedom. Knowing you can wake up with the sun and start pedaling, without too much thought, and end up surrounded by mountain-top pastel skies. It's extra sweet, too, because it only comes from putting in time and effort, investing in yourself, until you find you've become completely self-reliant.
Sure, there's excitement in the unknown, but there's also a special kind of confidence that comes from knowing whatever you get yourself into, you'll be fine.