Over a span of six months I visited 17 countries, 49 cities and ate too much chocolate to count. The above picture is in Salzburg, Austria, my home base and location of my school, Universitat Salzburg.
When I told other travelers in Poland and Hungary that I was going to Greece next, they whistled and said good luck. My Mom texted and asked if I was sure I wanted to go, did I think it was dangerous? After messaging a couple of friends who were in Greece, I decided to continue with my trip.
An Erasmus state of mind: A time marked by the passing of supremely perfect days. Days and nights spent with people I had only know for a few short months, but because we were all away from home and in a strange land, we bonded fast. It was like attending a cultural convention all the time, except the other ambassadors were actually friends. Not only did I learn about Austrian culture, I learned about the cultures of all my friends.
Rome was, quite simply, wild. After a high speed train ride from Florence, I hit the ground running. I took a two hour walk and saw an ancient building at every turn, or so it seemed. Then I met my friend, Kacie Dietz, for a scrumptious pasta lunch. She gave me the low down on the city and how I should spend my time.
I arrived at Sojin’s (one of my best friends from the USA) Milan apartment block before she did. Night was coming on and as I tried to match Sojin’s previously sent picture to the buildings around me, I heard voices coming from the street gate. Upon closer observation I realized it was Sojin and her roommate searching for their keys after their journey home from Florence. It was a bit ironic that I let them into their gate. We headed up to their apartment chattering away.
Her kids raced around her like planes circling an airport. Like me, she was alone, except she was alone and taking care of her three kids on the long train ride to Italy. All I had to do was take care of my backpack and myself. I hoped I could handle it.
One overcast Saturday my friend, Esmee, and I decided to embark by bike to Germany. Who better to bike with than a Dutch girl? They really do bike everywhere.
Living in Salzburg, the city center is only five miles from the Austria/Germany border. I had gotten the idea from other Americans on my floor who made the trek the previous day so they could save .40 cents on sending postcards.
February 4th I landed in Amsterdam, NE to meet my friend Kara who is studying in Switzerland and her friend, Emily. We spent three days in Amsterdam, flew to Berlin for three and rounded our trip off in Prague.
Berlin was my favorite out of the three cities. As soon as I got off the plane it felt like home, the people, language and architecture familiar and dear.
The first time an Italian kissed me I was eating pasta. A big plate of pasta.
Apparently, it has already been a month since I left the States. One month out of six already gone. Like dessert at my house, one second on the plate, the next in a stomach . And I guess I am just now getting around to creating a blog about my semester abroad in Salzburg, Austria. I am here to learn the German language and about the European culture. Another thing I am learning is how to be away. I really do miss my home, and while I am happy here and have made good friends, home is where the heart is.