Back in America

Yesterday I returned from a 2 1/2 week trip to Austria and Germany. It was definitely one of the best experiences in my life. Now that it’s over, I’m pretty sad. I just want to take every single memory I have and store it somewhere so I will always remember all the fun I had.

It’s weird being back…what was once my normal is no longer normal. My house is foreign. My dreams are still of Austria and all the trips we took, all the people there, and my state of mind is expecting us to wake up and travel for an hour or to and go see a beautiful castle or something.

Typing is awkward because the keyboards there are different, and I keep thinking of all the inside jokes we had over there, but can’t really use them because no one around me would understand. I hate explaining inside jokes because I feel like I’m betraying a secret to the rest of the world when it should stay with the few people who created it.

I felt almost like a stranger, seeing my best friends again. There are so many things I’ve experienced in Austria and Germany that I can tell them about, but they will never fully understand the weight of each experience or how hilarious each inside joke really is. I feel alone and awkward without the people who have been my roommates, my traveling companions, my friends for the past weeks. Just as I wasn’t prepared for going to Austria, I’m not ready to settle back into normal life.

I’m trying to analyze how the trip has changed me. I no longer have a germ phobia for sharing drinks and food with other people, because that’s just what they do in Austria. I now know how to maneuver an airport and generally what goes on. I understand now that if you don’t go after a guy, someone else will, and that being open and friendly can be really easy if you just be yourself.

I learned that you have to be patient and tolerate people, because sometimes there will be people in your life that constantly complain and make you angry. I’ve learned not to complain because life, every single moment,  is beautiful, and to be intensely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had. I’ve learned that things don’t always go according to plan, and even though this is annoying, it makes memories. If you aren’t having a good time, at least you are having a time.

I hope I’ve become more confident. I hope I’m more independent. I hope I haven’t changed too much but that I’ve grown into a better adult.

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