Europe: Conquered

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2 credit cards, 4 months, 11 countries, 19-ish cities, 6500 pictures, & a lifetime of memories.

Countries I visited: Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Austria (twice), Denmark, Sweden, Italy (twice), Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Poland.

Places I've been
    Now that I am home and settled into my normal routine, it's hard to believe that my semester abroad actually happened and that jet-setting around Europe was MY life for four entire months, especially when I look at that map! Surely these things only happen to exciting people, not girls from Cornfield, Indiana, right? I've always had a curiosity to learn about world cultures, and an even greater desire to experience them. I've now traveled to more countries at the age of 20/21 than the majority of people will travel in their entire life. I am thankful I decided to study in Eastern Europe (my childhood dreams of living abroad never quite took place in post-communist countries haha) and in a country where I could immerse myself in a unique culture. Hungary, you have my heart! I doubt I would have ever traveled to Eastern Europe otherwise. 

    I owe my parents a multitude of thanks for allowing me this opportunity (after some persuasion on my part), for being supportive, and for coming to visit me. I didn't realize how hard it was for my parents to let me go. A few weeks ago I was shopping with my mom and she mentioned how much she missed me and how happy she was that I was back. I asked her how long she cried for after I left. She got teary-eyed and told me she cried off and on the entire four months. Poor mama :(

    My intention here is not at all to brag, but rather to reflect on the incredible opportunities and blessings I have been given. Thanks be to God - Deo Gratias!! 

    The Pope is Dope

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Pope Benedict XVI used an iPad to send out the first Papal tweet earlier this week. Awesome. I think Twitter is lame, but the Pope just made it infinitely cooler and holier.

    In other news, I'm leaving tomorrow at 4am for vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Seven full days of sun and sand with my friend Ashley before she enters the convent in August. Yes, I know I just returned from what was essentially a four month European vacation. However, I need this vacation to recover from the last vacation ;) Instead of re-packing and jetting to a new country every 48 hours (which is quite stressful and exhausting) I will be firmly planted on the beach with a pina colada in hand for the next seven days. I've also never been to South Carolina, so I am excited to see a new place in my own country. It's not the Amalfi coast, but it'll do just fine.

    Besides being Independence Day, today is a double whammy of a feast day. Happy feast of Sts. Pier Giorgio Frassati and Elizabeth of Portugal! St. Elizabeth of Portugal is named after her great-aunt, my patroness Elizabeth of Hungary.

    Be good, be holy, and love the Lord! (And maybe say a prayer for my pastor, who broke his shoulder playing ultimate frisbee with me and my friends. Ouch Charlie!)