Week 20: The week I’m no longer in Vienna

This last month has been wild. My parents came and I added four new countries to my list of travels, this time in a different fashion since my family was along for the ride. I can’t express how great of an idea it was to have my family come and travel at the end. I’m endlessly grateful for their support in making my time abroad a success.

Now, I write this laying in bed back in Walla Walla. The adjustment was sudden, the jetlag was real, and I’ve already looked at ticket prices to try and go back soon. Many of my classmates and roommates were understandably ready to go home. And while I don’t feel that way, I can’t explain why. I’m unable to put into words my experiences to those who ask, there’s too much to fit into too few words.

All I can say is thank you for reading along with my life these last six months. I hope this is helpful to the readers who have already messaged me with further questions or to future readers looking for an ounce of wisdom or courage to go abroad. I’m excited to settle into life in Walla Walla for the last 12 months of my undergraduate career and bring the happiness I found in Vienna home to the USA.

Thank you again for reading along, and if I learned nothing else this semester, at least I learned how to say AUF WEDERSEHEN!

Week 19: Pics Or It Didn’t Happen

Pinch me, I feel like I’ve dreamt these past months, so here’s proof that is actually happened:

London, UK

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*it was a whirlwind <24 hours, but here’s the airport*

Mariatzell, Austria

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Vienna, Austria (aka 90% of my photos)

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the prettiest city

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*confused about what we were supposed to be doing with the medals at the Vienna City Marathon*

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snow & nature

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abroad bod >>>> First Year 15

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opera-la-la-la-laaaa

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ballin’ (on a budget)

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Easter Markts

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Vienna scooter gang

Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Lake Bled, Slovenia

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Zagreb, Croatia

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Budapest, Hungary

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hummus, baths, incredible architecture, and an even more incredible exchange rate!

Salzburg, Austria

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the hills were alive

Prague, Czech Republic

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*Alpha Phi abroad, ft. the cutest bakeries and farmers markets, oh and a photogenic wall*

Bratislava, Slovakia

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a hidden gem (and different country), only an hour away!

Athens, Greece

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sponsored by our AirBnb host, Jim (the hottest and hippest Greek dad you’ll ever meet)

Santorini, Greece

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*reenacting the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever ever been, surrounded by honeymooning couples*

Barcelona, Spain

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FC Barcelona games >>>> Seattle Sounders games

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tapas are love, tapas are life

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“Should we rent this AirBnb on a boat?” “Probably.”

Copenhagen, Denmark

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Thank you to Nina for helping me fall in love with Scandinavia!!

 

And now, as an added bonus, some gifs for your video-viewing pleasure!

 

 

 

Week 18: Thank You

Over the weekend, an old teammate from High School had a 1.5 hour stop in Vienna as part of a study abroad tour group she was on from her college. I managed to pull her away for a quick brunch and we had a chance to compare opportunities and abroad experiences. She expressed so much lust over the depth and range of exposures to Europe I’ve been able to have in these last months, and the conversation, plus the impending end to my time here, has made me reflect on just how lucky I am.

So, since I think my parents are my only readers anyways, I’d like to take this time to list my gratitudes to the people, places and things that have made abroad awesome & possible:

  1. My parents: IMG_0508Thank you for being emotionally (and financially) supportive of my endeavors and exploits. For teaching me how to budget, plan and explore. For showing me art even when I wasn’t interested, so now that I am interested, I kinda know what I’m looking at. For taking me on family vacations that shaped my travel style and then they encouraging me to go half way across the world and give this whole traveling thing a try on my own.
  2. Whitman: For being more academically rigorous and fostering more intellectual curiosity and preparedness than I realized. It took going to classes with less-than motivated students to fully realize just how lucky I am to have the classmates I do.
  3. My travel companions (Alicia and Lindsay and Katharine):IMG_2019 Thank you for laughing with me when we got kicked off a train in Croatia, for eating at my random restaurant finds and making dinners last five hours because we don’t want to leave, for becoming locals at cute breakfast bakeries in Prague, for agreeing to stay on a boat in Barcelona even though I get motion sick, for accompanying me to a last minute FC Barcelona game, for spending a night in Bratislava because Slovakia sounds fun, for listening to my endless questions and engaging in the only deeply academic conversations I’ve had abroad, for then buying thrift store traveling pants and going to a Greek Island to reenact the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, for getting caught in Sahara Desert dust storms on said Greek Island and most importantly: for always saying yes to sharing dessert and exploring Vienna with me.
  4. Vienna: IMG_0721For showing me how much I love living in a large city, and giving me the exposure to prove myself as an independent and capable adult. For inspiring me to look at living abroad longer term, and for making me fall head-over-heels in love with Europe. For teaching me to be comfortable being out of place, for being humble about learning about a new culture, for giving me the courage to speak up for myself even when I don’t know the local language. Thank you for helping me see the difference between the many types of tourism and helping me find my identity as a traveller (hint: I’m not the selfie stick type).
  5. Finally, thank you to literally anyone who actually read this blog. Hopefully it helped, sorry if it didn’t! But as they say in a country I have yet to ever set foot in: ‘C’est la vie’

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*Stay tuned for one (or two?) more posts where I share all my final photos of my travels, recap where I actually went including the magnificent month I have left traveling with my parents!!!!, and talk about transitioning back to America, where within 24 hours of landing, I’ll be driving 4.5 hours to start a research position at Whitman, because that seems like the best way to fight jet lag…*