|Nothing says spring like tulips - my favorite flowers! This was taken in Salzburg last year.|
|Still one of my favorite pictures of Prague - taken in my first week here!|
I've been thinking about that recently, and really, traveling here is not much easier or cheaper than at home. It's just a different perspective. Now, instead of going to another state - I get to go to another country. Attempt to speak another language, eat different foods, and see different things. While many European countries have similarities, their cultures, foods, and people differ drastically! In just a few hours - everything around you changes in a way. Now of course - many things do stay the same, but it's fun to find those new things too!
Just this past weekend, I went to Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad in English and German) in the Northeastern part of the Czech Republic to visit friends who live there. Karlovy Vary is known for several things. First - its spa water is supposed to have healing powers. So, we took the challenge of trying all 13 different waters in varying temperatures only to discover they all taste the same. I don't find them to be too bad (though some were horrible), but I didn't want to drink gallons and gallons of it all either. And no - I didn't feel drastically different after drinking it either, but it was fun!
|Trying one of the many waters in the special water "sippy cup"|
|Spring number 11|
|Cool colonnade where several springs are located|
|Massive colonnade where springs are located.|
|Cool old bottles|
|Love the cups - two of these cups is the "recommended daily dose" to cure all your aches and pains|
|The Becherovka bar at the museum|
This winter has been a challenging one for me. I truly think I have a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder and living in a country where in the winter it is not really light out until about 8:15 am and gets dark around 4 pm, winters are rough and all I want to do is hibernate. As I mentioned before, its warming up, staying lighter longer and I'm feeling more social again. The nice benefit of living this far north - in summer we have about 16 hours of daylight, so that's something to look forward to!
I mentioned a few months ago in a blog that I was making changes in my life to lose weight. I set a goal, and honestly, I haven't done much to reach that goal. The time feels right again, and this has been a good week for exercising (I love my spinning classes 3-4 times a week) and eating healthy, so I am now re-committed. Luckily, I generally enjoy eating healthy and exercising, but sometimes you just need a change (even a small one) to see that you can and will reach that goal.
I know this all seems rather random - but it's all connected by the thought that I have been here for 1.5 years. My teaching contract ends in 3 months. I have my last few European adventures planned (or in the process) and I can truly see that my time here is nearly over. I have loved every minute, and I intend to continue to make the most of this amazing experience. I'm still not sure what's next - however, I'm excited to enjoy these last few months in Prague with the amazing people I have met while living and working here. There have certainly been ups and downs these past few months - but its all part of what got me to this place. As a good friend often says to me, "You wouldn't be you without all those experiences." And isn't that true? I'm who I am because of all the good and bad things I've experienced. It's what you make of it all that matters...