I’ll admit it. Leaving Europe was hard. I may have even stayed a few extra weeks following the old motto ‘treat. yo. self’ much to my mother’s dismay and ultimate horror!
I loved so much of the culture I saw in Europe that I am bombarding my household and daily routine with it!
- I plan to read classic novels at the park. I found that when the weather was nice, people congregated at the park, laid down on the grass and read.
- I found that almost everyone I met in Europe spoke at least one other language, so I am now watching French cartoons, reading Harry Potter in French, watching French films, studying my French textbook, and learning from an app called Duolingo.
- I am actually eating Muesli for breakfast like I did nearly every morning in Berlin.
- And the most aggressively despised change I have instilled (title given by my mother): I have an international table in my house called the ‘International Zone’ where all the newspapers, magazines and books I bought while abroad are placed.
Things I enjoy most about being home:
- I celebrate every time I don’t have to pay for the public restroom!
- I am pleasantly pleased every time I order water without having to specify that yes I do indeed want the non-fizzy, non-sparkling, non-mineral, non-classic water, thank you very much! I cannot express how much money I wasted accidentally buying a bottle of the wrong water, opening it and tasting that horrible water with gas!
- My car! It’s simply so convenient! Yes, the public transportation was nice and environmentally-friendly, but it was not 2 suitcases and 3 backpacks friendly! Okay, I bought a lot of souvenirs. I don’t regret a thing.
- The convenience of having a refrigerator, oven and microwave. Never have I ever been so grateful as I am after Europe for the simple luxuries many of us overlook in our hectic lives. I love knowing that I have food I love just a few rooms away. I also like knowing which restaurants serve what without having to guess what I will like.
- No schedule! Well, at least for now!
- Hot weather! In Europe, some days were so cold that one jacket was simply not enough! I quite enjoy my shorts and tank tops.
- Air conditioning. Opening the window every night was problematic because at first, the temperature in the room would be too hot but by the morning, I would be freezing. But the room would be so stuffy without the windows open.
- Less sausage and meat! I like my homemade soup.
Honestly, I expected Europe to change me. But not this much! In the weeks since I have returned to Florida, I have felt completely different than when I left. I feel a stronger sense of self and purpose in life. I am more decisive and straightforward. I am more motivated and persistent with my goals than ever before. I have a million and one ideas bouncing all around my head and I used to be unable to decide what I wanted to pursue. I would become passionate about one idea and go at it full force, then change to another when my next big idea came around- in usually less than a week, tops! I just have such a zest for life that I want to experience every aspect of it. But now, I know how to utilize my assets to my advantage and even use my seemingly negative qualities to my benefit as well. I decided that in addition to my English major, I will pursue French and study abroad in France. I now know how to motivate myself and I no longer rely on anyone else to get me to do things. I have become extremely determined to turn my aspirations into a reality.
Stay tuned for my blog from France!