November 04, 2013

thankful - an experience
(aka ... an overseas adventure)

overlooking prague, czech republic
well, i wasn't planning on writing for The Thankful Project today but remembering that the prompt was "an experience" i thought i'd take a creativity break over lunch and jot something down. i know i fall into the realm of blessed when i say that there are many moments in my life to be thankful for. i could talk about the experience of getting married - the family that survived my anti-bridzillaness (trust me, worse than being a bridezilla!), the friends that drove 12 hours to surprise me on my wedding day, the glorious weather and the whole marrying lucas bit ;0) i could remember the travels i've been able to take - trips to new zealand with my family, cross-country road trips with friends, yearly vacations to the family cabin ... but today, i think i'll focus on my four-month study abroad experience.

before which college to attend was even a thought in my mind, i knew i would study abroad. i don't remember my dad spending much time talking about his travel experiences in college, but what i do remember i remember well. there was the rambling around germany and the "made-up" class in jamaica. it was always  a given that i would do something of the same. when i started the college hunt, "what's your study abroad program like" was always in my top five questions asked.

fast forward to sophomore year - where-oh-where would i go. i knew i wanted to be out of my comfort zone. i wanted to go somewhere where i wouldn't speak the language but still be somewhat in my element. i don't claim to be adventurous. i like my creature comforts - my bed, my shower, my various modes of communications. as my plus and minus list grew, i had narrowed down to somewhere in europe. so, i did what any person making a possible life-altering decision would do ... i closed my eyes and pointed. prague. czech republic. done.

so january 2006 i packed my giant suitcase and jetted off to praha. i spent about two hours half-assed listening to a "learn czech" tape on the plane, touched down just outside of prague, plastered on a smile and in the words of the newsies, seized the day.

it was awesome. it was uncomfortable. it was hot. it was cold. it was confusing. it was tiring. it was long. it was too short. it was hilarious. it was somber. it was delicious. it was drunken. and yes, for the sake of school credit, it was educational. but as it goes with any study abroad program, you're not going over there to learn calculus or poetry or physics. you might pick up a trick or two in the process but you're going over there to learn about you. what you can do. what you can't. when you crack and fold and how you crawl back out. you get lost. you get scared. you get lonely. and then suddenly, you get out. you get up. you get going and those first panic-filled moments become just a gray haze that now, help push you on to what you really meant to do.


at the clock tower in prague
i'm trying something new this month - i love me a good challenge - and joining Chasing Happy for The Thankful Project. while i can't promise a post-a-day, maybe i'll get close? today's prompt - an experience.

1 comment:

  1. czech you out! i would love to go back to prague - such a great city :)