My 21st birthday was a couple days ago. To be completely honest, I was not too excited about it particularly because it was the first birthday I spent away from my family and because turning 21 is not necessarily a “big deal” in Europe as it is in the US.
Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. This birthday was probably my favorite I’ve ever had. All of my friends here in Madrid were so much fun and my family and friends back home showed so much love through social media and FaceTime or Skype.
We spent the night as true Madrilenos and completed a tapas bar crawl before dancing until the wee hours of the morning at a discoteca.
Only 2 days after did a small group of friends and I travel to Vienna and Prague for 6 days. I had never traveled farther east than Italy in my life. The two cities were unbelievable. My friends and I sacrificed sleep in order to fit in all the sight-seeing we could.
It was well worth it.
Most importantly, this trip really brought me closer to some of the people on my program. We learned so much about each other, and I think there is something very special about traveling and experiencing new cultures with people. It in some ways bonds you closer together.
Although the cities were beautiful, breath-taking and memorable, I think the most I will take away from my birthday and our Prienna trip were the new friendships that blossomed.