The Countdown Begins

Hallo! Guten Morgen! Wie geht es Ihnen? These are some of the practically vital phrases I will be smashing into my brain because I just realized I have only one month before I will be on a plane to Berlin! If I forget everything else, the one phrase I cannot, under any circumstances forget is “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” And hopefully I will never have to use the phrase Ich habe mich verlaufen (I’m lost)!

If I could possibly forget about the myriad of responsibilities I have to accomplish before I begin my trip for even a second, my dad sure wouldn’t let me. Have you gotten your airplane tickets? Do you need international insurance? Does Sprint have service in Germany? Did you get your shots? Do you need to get shots to travel in Europe? Did you get your laptop fixed or are you taking the broken one with you to Berlin? Blah blah blah. Details, details. My mum says my dad is living this trip through me. I am just stoked that I managed to travel to Europe at a younger age than he did! I’ve always treasured the small victories in life.

UF in Berlin summer 2016. Always curious about photography, I decided to enrich my science and math-filled schedule with a subject I actually enjoyed. So I joined Professor Freeman’s Photojournalism class, and boy was that one of the best decisions I have ever made. His lectures were so interesting and inspiring. I found myself engaged during every minute, so when the day finally came for him to introduce his annual study abroad in Berlin trip, I couldn’t believe my luck. My heart started pounding and I knew I just had to go on this trip. I practically got on the floor and kissed my mum’s feet, begging her to allow me to go on this trip. My dad was already keen on the idea, but my mum was exceedingly harder to convince. And finally, either the planets were aligned or my mum was completely out of her mind, but she said “Yes”!

During this trip, my classmates and I will be immersed in a new culture. We will try out a new language, meet new people, and taste new cuisine. New new new. Yes, yes, no! Oh gosh, new food! I might be most afraid of the food. I eat a very plain diet of plain vegetables, plain meat, and plain fruit. So, pray for my stomach! My poor, weak stomach. Hopefully it can handle spätzle and Wiener Schnitzel. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, back to the reason for this sojourn. Our one requirement is that we produce a picture story after finding a subject to learn about and basically experience Berlin through his or her eyes! Hopefully, I can find a really inspiring subject who can integrate me into the culture and show me some hidden gems most tourists never see.

Danke. Thank you for traveling on this journey with me! More updates with awesome pictures soon to come!
Katelyn Irvin


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