Let me start this post by first apologizing for not getting more updates done about my travels in June. It has been a whirlwind summer with more adventures coming, so I'll work on getting pictures up this fall when things calm down a bit. Something to look forward to!
In the meantime, I'll tell you I had a wonderful visit with my sister Heidi to Italy - Milan, Venice, and Tuscany as well as spending time in Prague. I finally got to do all the touristy things in Prague I hadn't done yet, so that was very fun. Again, more pictures to come soon!
I also made a quick one-week trip home for my grandma's funeral in late July. It was a sad reason to return home, but I was grateful for being able to see all of my family and spend some time with everyone. As one of my aunt's said, it was one last gift from my grandma that I'd be home to help celebrate my mom's 70th birthday!
I've been in Prague for 11 months now, and am starting to see how my perspective has changed on so many things just being in a new environment for that long, and being home, even briefly, made me see how foreign being in the US felt. The large streets, wide open spaces, overwhelming stores, driving everywhere, just the overall sense of things being so big. In contrast, some things seem really small. For example, beer is served here in 1/2 liter portions (about 16 oz), so bigger than in the US. I had a couple beers while home and found the bottles to be so small! ;)
In contrast, being back in Prague, I realized some of the things I love about being in Europe. I love walking everywhere...realizing I make a quick 1/2 mile walk to the grocery store at least a couple times a week. In the US, I wouldn't fathom walking that. I guess its a difference in perspective. In the US, I always feel like I have to rush everywhere and hurry up, but why? What am I rushing to? I can't seem to remember. Here, the pace of life maybe seems a bit slower? Or maybe its just my perspective or my responsibilities here. Something has changed, and whatever it is, I like it. I do miss being closer to friends and family of course, but I absolutely love life in Prague, so I'm so happy here for now!
I'm back to work for one day this week, helping at another camp, and then I'm off work for a few weeks to travel with my college best friend in Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland and maybe Austria or Switzerland. We'll see where our adventures take us and I'll post updates soon! Shortly after my friend leaves, my parents and aunt and uncle arrive for another round of touring before school starts again mid-September.