Falling in Love with a City Called Prague

Ahoj friends, family, and followers! Long time, no posting, and I apologize for that! I figured it was time for a longer update on what I’ve been up to during my time studying abroad. This post is directed towards my family and friends, and anyone else who wants to hear about my adventures, so it strays from my usual writing topics, and will be written much more colloquially. Enjoy!

I’ve been here just about three weeks, and it has definitely been an adjustment process. The first day I got here, I felt MISERABLE. I could barely take in the beauty of the city because the jet lag was making me sick and tired, but after a good nights’ sleep, I was ready to explore. Since there’s just so much to update y’all on, I am planning to make this an extra long post which a different paragraph on different topics!

Sight-Seeing
I’ve gotten to see so many beautiful places and things while I’ve been here! I’ve decided it’s pointless to try to blend in, and have embraced my tourist-ness. Here are some pictures of a few of my favorite places that I have visited thus far:

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The Vlatava River, taken from a river cruise we went on the celebrate the completion of the first week of the program. Beautiful!
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Taken in the Prague Castle gardens, I got to hold an owl for only four USD!! Definitely a fun experience, and an added bonus was that this was taken during a wine festival in the castle gardens.
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Hiking Sv. Jan Pod Skalou, overlooking a beautiful town on top of a very high cliff. A long walk, but definitely worth the view. It made me feel at home in a place very far away from home.
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I got to visit Auschwitz in Poland, which I think deserves a separate post of it’s own. For now, I will say that it was very informative and really put things in perspective. An experience I would highly recommend for all people.
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Prague Castle Gardens on a sunny day.
 

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I loved the pictures I got from the John Lennon Wall!
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The infamous Charles Bridge!
Overall, some of my favorite activities have been hiking, swimming at a water park, drinking good beer in a beer garden, traveling by train, peddle boating on the river with my room mates, and really, really good cheese.

 

Culture
The culture is different here, as the attitudes that people have are a lot more chill towards drinking/smoking/PDA etc. Never before have I seen so much PDA on the subway! Not that I take the subway back at home, anyways. People say what they mean here, which is really nice coming from Seattle, aka the most passive-aggressive city ever. I’m at a point in my life when I’m really done with dishonesty and people covering things up to protect my feelings, so the general aggressive-ness and straightforward-ness here is a breath of fresh air, honestly!
There are also some other cultural differences here, such as no eating on public transportation, always staying on the right on elevators, and everyone speaking at least two languages. Coming to a country where English is not the primary language has taught me so much, and I highly suggest anyone considering studying abroad go to a place that doesn’t just speak English. As an English speaker, I am very privileged in that most people speak a little bit of English in most of Europe. It was really put my privilege into perspective, and I have a lot of respect for everyone who speaks more than one language!

People
I’ve met some really amazing people here that I am so excited to get to know better! It feels like freshman year of college all over again – having to meet new people and introduce myself all over again. It’s a nice change, but definitely draining at times, and sometimes it’s really difficult when I’m too tired to socialize, but want to make a good first impression.

Adjusting
Each of the three weeks has been a different story. It’s very conflicting, because on one hand, I am absolutely in LOVE with Prague. Honestly, I like it more than any other city I’ve been too, even Seattle (perhaps that’s because I’ve been a little annoyed with Seattle lately, but regardless…Prague is my new number one). Yet, at the same time, I miss everyone back home a lot. I don’t miss being at home, but I miss my family, my boyfriend, my dogs, and my close friends. I wish I could bring them all here to visit and experience this with me! Week three has me realizing that the distance is hard and I’m really missing everyone this week. I guess I’ll have to see what week four brings me, I know that it will get easier. On a positive note, I recently booked a trip to the UK for my fall break, and I am beyond excited to see Ireland, Scotland, AND England!!!

 

That’s all I have for now! Phew, that was a lot. And is probably full of typos, but I’m exhausted, and going to say “SCREW IT” and publish this anyways. No regrets am I right? 🙂

 

Cau! (that’s goodbye in Czech!)