The Good, the Bad and the Funny: My First Two Weeks Abroad

I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but some of my favorite travel memories are from embarrassing moments or mistakes. And my time in Prague so far has not failed to deliver.

Being in a foreign country constantly takes you out of your comfort zone on so many levels. This includes all the little things that I don’t even think twice about back home like going to the grocery store or eating in a restaurant, and things that are completely new to me like trying to learn the public transportation system.

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Preparing for Prague

I think the first time it really hit me that I am going abroad for a semester was when I received my Czech visa in the mail. The second time was when I finally sat down and actually opened my suitcase to start packing.

My last couple of days in San Diego have been a whirlwind. It’s been a lot of running errands, doing neglected loads of laundry and just making sure that everything is ready for my trip. And because I clearly have a pack-crastination problem, I seem to have left things until the last minute.

I’ve found myself sitting on my floor in a caffeine-fueled frenzy, the soothing sound of my Czech language app playing in the background, while I try to figure out what items from my Southern California wardrobe should make the trip to central Europe.

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Walking Through World History

I’m sitting in the airport right now, about to board my plane and go back to the United States in less than an hour. The past 3 weeks don’t even feel real at this point. Did all of that really happen?

Whatever that was, it was the best blur I’ve ever experienced in my entire 21 years of life. I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, in a music and culture program, mainly focusing on Czech and old Czechoslovakian music and culture. I arrived in the Czech Republic a night before my program started and was hit with different words and accents.

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Czech into A New Environment

I was not sure what to expect on my journey, as I would be leaving the United States for the first time. I was especially anxious since I know being American is not always received well by other people in other countries. Many of my friends and family members did not even know where the Czech Republic was.

It turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

Although not as many people smile in Prague as in San Diego, I’ve learned not to take it personally. Luckily, during the time that I have been in this country, I have not experienced a culture shock — but I was not immune to the jet lag. In the time I have spent here thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the dark and tragic times during and leading up to The Holocaust, explored various places of worship and admired the glorious architecture of this city.

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Finding Solace From the Unknown

Prague is like something out of a dream. Its incandescence is almost impossible to describe with words, so I feel that a blog post just won’t do it justice. But I’ll do my best.

Prague was the second stop on our whirlwind trip throughout Central Europe. My goal was to write about it before I left for our third destination, but I was too busy living in the moment (apologies for the cliche) to pause and reflect. I had to take it all in after the fact. Continue reading “Finding Solace From the Unknown”

Take Me Back to Praha

After a few hours of exploring and wandering the city streets, I am in love. Walking around the city is like being a part of a fairy tale. I left a part of my heart in Prague (or Praha as the Czech would say).

My great-great-grandfather came to the States from Czechoslovakia, from what is now the Czech Republic, so I feel a bit of a connection to the city and a desire to take in as much as I can. Continue reading “Take Me Back to Praha”

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