Today I’m thankful for: weekends, alone time, puberty
This marks the first weekend in over a month that I haven’t been traveling. This morning, I slept in for the first time in weeks instead of stumbling out of my room at zero dark thirty to catch a flight, or a train, or a bus! It is so nuts—I have been doing more traveling in the last two months than I have in my entire life combined (including family road trips, middle school overnights, reunions, vacations, and walking to Taq).
Traveling constantly is so different from taking one or a few large trips each year. There is some security that comes with this constant state of impermanency, the nomadic lifestyle of the study abroad traveler—security in the sense that this too shall pass. If something is amazing, then you get to experience it; if it’s not, then it will be over soon. Going with the flow has never been so necessary or so easy!
Although it has been incredible to be in such a central location in Europe with the means to explore so many different countries, there is beauty in being able to lazily wake up at 10am and make small talk with my host mom over a giant cup of coffee. Weekends have flown by when I’ve been on the move, and seem to teeter on at a pleasantly slow pace when I’m at home…which is Prague. Home! Czech Republic! Same diff! Incredible.
I’ve had the chance to take some time to myself this weekend and, in a delightfully meta thought experiment, reflect on what that actually means. Alone time when you’re studying abroad is rare, because the #FOMO (fear of missing out) is even more prevalent here than at school. How many people get the opportunity to explore Europe with virtually no responsibilities other than keeping yourself alive and going to school? You have to grab the bull by the horns/goulash by the dumplings/beer by the pint and go with the flow and seize the day and practice all the other empty cultural idioms to really get the “most” out of this experience. Right?
When I came home for dinner earlier this week, my fifteen-year-old host brother Adriano was ranting about the terrible day he had (a little girl had stomped on his prized white sneakers, ) and he talked and talked until he was out of breath—about how “dumb” this girl was, about how he had to clean his shoes, about how much they had cost, etc. Finally, he slumped over the table and declared, “I hate puberty.” I burst out laughing—honestly, how could you not—and knew that I would have missed this oh so special moment had I been traveling.
….and now for some PICS!
Since my last post, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet up with fellow off campus Whittie Maya in Budapest, and then travel to Amsterdam with off campus Prague-based Whittie Molly and some friends last weekend for the start of tulip season!
On a bridge in Budapest
Keukenhof Garden with Molly & Co.
Enjoying some frites in Amsterdam
More adventures to come!