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22 January 2009

7 Months Gone...

...and I still want to travel!

I know I haven't been able to chronicle every single detail of my trips, but what's important is being able to convey a sense of wonderment at having a new experience--you know, the whole "do one thing everyday that scares you" thing. Well, while living and traveling on my own, everyday was a new challenge for me; everyday was something new, something that scared me, from catching my first 6am flight, to taking care of myself while sick with the flu, to eating some random Slovakian street food that I had never had before (and which has a name I still don't know to this day).

Then there are the people that I've met. The fellow participants in my study abroad program were interesting, outgoing, eager, adventurous, and well-grounded. And just like me, they hadn't really had many opportunities to travel before we arrived in London on that warm September day. There aren't many other people who can understand the transitions I had to make from California to the U.K. and back. Secondly come the locals I met while living in London. My flatmates were always there, living their lives alongside me. And we'd share jokes and drinks and fun times, and every so often we'd learn something from each other. I feel lucky to have been able to learn such lessons. There were also the locals from elsewhere: My German exchange partners, with whom I always hope to maintain a friendship; the couchsurf.ers who were generous enough to open their homes to me (or who were trusting enough to sleep on my floor); and the countless unnamed individuals who passed by me everyday. The strangers who would dress in that distinctively Italian style or stroll Munich's Englischer Garten on a February day or unconsciously flaunt their cigarettes like only the French could--the painting of my year abroad was made much richer by their brushstrokes, which were not the largest but were often the most colorful Finally, there are the fellow travelers with whom I shared some memorable (or too-memorable-to-be-remembered) times. My friends whom I was able to visit--how exciting that was! The friends I made while traveling in Switzerland, Prague, Venice, Rome, and Munich--I may have only known them for a day or two, but I truly had some of the most amazing experiences of my life with them. And I hope that they at least had a fraction of the fun that I had. There lay life.