May 15 was the date I left the country for the first time since 1997. As I said goodbye to my parents, I looked my mom in the eye with determination: “I’ll be back in August, and you can always call.”
It was my first time flying alone, without any family members or friends. I had to stay alert and make three connections: Fort Lauderdale to Montreal, Montreal to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Munich. At the end, I stayed awake for nearly 27 hours and crashed for the night when I came to the hostel bed. Some of the other students are complaining about the stiffness of the mattress, but I can adapt and sleep just fine.
The concept of hostels is fantastic I’d say. Students, travelers and workers can come and go for a fleeting amount of time. There are so many students here, from Auburn University to UCLA, and I haven’t seen the same one twice during the four-day stay in Munich. The breakfast options, which include sandwiches with salami and turkey meats, to PB&J sandwiches along with peaches and bananas, are decent.
Celebrating my 21st birthday was fantastic. We received a tour of the city and explored Olympiapark. Our group got to see the swimming pools, climbed a tower and saw ducks in the lake. In addition, we went to the BMW place. The infrastructure was beautiful and elegant. The BMW tour guide gave me a new perspective because I wasn’t much of a fan of BMWs before. He was very knowledgeable and used the entire 90-minute session. We got to see the evolution and history of the BMW to where it is now.
The only bad thing I would say so far is I am experiencing a little bit of culture shock. There are no drinking water fountains in Europe. I’m the type of person who runs to drink water from one whenever in sight. I don’t know when I’ll be used to not drinking water for seven hours straight. I’m just going to get a water bottle, eventually.
I’m going to miss these Munich memories, but I’m looking forward to Salzburg.