Monday, May 4, 2009

Can't I stay in Vienna forever, and just bring all my friends and family here?

Wow!!! Its almost time to 8 days I will be back in America.

I'm so excited to see all my friends and family and tell them all about my times here. However I do not want to leave. I want to bring the city back with me or bring everybody from back home to Vienna. Even though the time spent here is almost over, and the sun is setting on amazing time; the colors the sun casts up are beautiful, and I appreciate that beauty.

Before I reflect on my times here, I want to say that I am so thankful and appreciate that FPU offers such an amazing opportunity to study abroad. Honestly, if you're a student reading this considering if you want to study in Vienna...DO IT!!!! Its the best thing that I've ever experienced. Its not every day an opportunity like this comes around. Living in Europe for three months, taking a few classes, AND getting credits for it. Whats better than that?? I cant think of too many things.

Okay, so, looking back, time has flown by. I remember saying, "We've only been here for two weeks, it feels like forever." Well now it feels like I said that only a few days ago. There is so much I still want to experience here. When it was rainy, cold and snowy it was hard to want to go out and explore. But ever since the weather has gotten better, I've been outside every chance I can get.

Since being here, I've learned that everybody needs to travel at some point in their lives. Whether it is three months in Europe or a week to tropics, the life lessons learned give an understanding to how other people live. Not everywhere is like America, and it is important to see how other people go about their daily lives, and seeing the differences and similarities throughout cultures. Here in Austria, people are punctual, polite, respectful, resourceful, considerate, and selfless. I'm going to be cranky when i get back home, because i can tell that I'm going to feel that Americans are loud, lazy, disrespectful and rude, wasteful, and glutenous. Yeah there's some great people back home, but after living here, I've kinda been spoiled with a majority of amazing Europeans.

I've also learned that it is important to hold on to who we really are. To try not to get caught up in the trends, or what seems cool, or what everybody is doing. I'm a positive caring person, and for a while I started to pick out the negative sides of people, and not notice the good side, or not care about other peoples feelings. I almost lost a friendship because of it. But I realized what was happening and got a hold of things before I messed up. I though about my definition of friendship and why I came to Vienna in the first place. I've gained a few friendships that are going to last for a while. My motto about being over here is, We're only gonna be here once, honestly, why look at what is wrong or what could be better......when we could be focusing on all the amazing things we may never get to see or do again. So I've gained a stronger sense of myself and taken steps to improve upon my faults.

I've gotten to travel to so many places while being here. As a class we went to Salzburg, Innsbruck, Munich, Paris, Prague, and trips to museums, churches, and abbeys. For outside of class, I've gotten to Amsterdam, Athens and explore Vienna. Just yesterday my brother Steve and I took the train and bus to the mountains just outside Vienna. The view of the city below is breath taking. We enjoyed a coffee then started to explore. We found some trails and followed them, before we knew it we were descending down the backside. We decided to walk all the way back to where we're staying. We talked and caught up on a lot of things and laughed the whole way home. I'm not sure how many miles it was but it was a 5 hour journey. And on that journey i connected to the city, we saw so many different sections that I was completely oblivious to before.

I feel like there is so much I can continue on about the whole time here. Even though I have spoken of some of the harder things experienced here, there have been so many truly amazing times that I will remember for the rest of my life. I know years from now I will look back on the trip and not have any regrets because I feel I've benefited so much from everything we have all experienced.

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