Five Days. Not a Week. Woops.
Somewhere along the way, I completely forgot to talk about my study abroad trip. I don’t know how it escaped me, somehow it didn’t really feel real, I guess. I didn’t talk with anyone about it, really, even. Weird, right? But you know how you have that dream before a big trip that you’ve forgotten to go or you’re naked, whatever your fear is…they all translate into being massively unprepared. So in a word I never use, I “misunderestimated” the departure date for the trip, and 2 days to prepare got skimmed off in the process.
Where am I going?! You ask…maybe. Did you? Anyway, St. Petersburg, Russia, which is this lovely place:
Berlin & Munich, Germany, (photo is of Munich):
And Salzburg, Austria, (Photo from an awesome travel-photography blog):
The trip will be for three weeks, shorter than usual, because I’m codependent…kidding, I really just hate being away from him, and that’s okay, right? Anyways, it’s a trip I never thought I’d take, but I’m really excited for it! Despite my love of photography, I am only taking a digital point’n shoot and don’t try to talk me out of it! Kidding.
Anyways, Isaiah has vowed to update with posts while I’m gone, I leave Friday! Yikes! So I didn’t tell you that to go all verbal-diarrhea about the trip.
My great-grandma just turned 90 this past December. My great-grandpa, Helmut or “Hal,” was born and raised until he was 9 in Hamburg, Germany. He used to talk about his beloved motherland day-in…just kidding. He did love Germany though and we ate spare ribs and sauerkraut our fair share at their house. He came to America through Ellis Island and my mom and I took a trip to New York together when I turned 18. At Ellis Island, you can see the original logs, signed by my great-grandpa and his mother. He was 8 when the ship left Hamburg and 9 when it pulled into New York. He was also one inch shorter than his 4’11” mother when they left and 4 inches taller than her when they arrived. I always found that amusing.
My great-grandpa was really active in our lives, always outside with us playing catch or sitting nearby commenting on how my male cousins shouldn’t be playing with paper dolls with the girls.
Anyway, I never got sentimental about my past. I’m such a hodgepodge of who-sy-whats-its-from-what-country-again, that it just translates to Chicagoan for me. German is the most “recent” I guess, the most prevalent in my life, if that makes sense. I’m really looking forward to going to Hamburg and seeing the place I heard about so often from my grandpa and maybe feeling a bit closer to my heritage, I guess. Who knows what will come of it?
Both the countries of Russia and Germany were wore-torn so recently…so I’m interested to see how the countries have repaired their land and such. It’s hard to imagine in America, we don’t know what war does to a country when it hits home, you know? Does that make me sound like a nerd? Maybe. To counteract, I’m also pumped to spend the day in Baltika Breweries, taste testing and checking out their plant.
Anyways, any study abroad veterans? What tips do you have? Where have you visited that you would go back to in a heartbeat?