Several months down the line it’s kind of crazy to think about my summer abroad. The places I’ve been, the people I met all seem so close and so far away at the same time. As happy as I’ve been to come home and see my family and friends again there are a lot of things I really miss about Prague and my time there.
- The food – not necessarily anything billed as “traditional Czech food” because I really like vegetables and most of those dishes are very meat and bread heavy. However, I had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten while I was in Europe especially when I looked beyond the touristy, heavily traveled areas. There were two Italian restaurants within five minutes of my apartment and a wonderful Thai place that was well worth the fifteen-minute tram ride.
- The public transportation system – speaking of the trams I absolutely loved the public transportation system, not only in Prague, but in every city I visited. Prague has a giant system of trams, metros and buses that will get you anywhere you need to go in a very reasonable amount of time. I’ve heard other people who traveled say that they were glad to come home and get to drive their cars again. I was the opposite. I was perfectly happy hopping a tram every day and letting someone else drive so I could just take everything in.
- The architecture – I don’t know if that’s quite the right way to put it, but living in a building that’s been standing far longer than I’ve been alive and walking down the street and seeing the beauty of the buildings was a never-ending treat for me. The fact that modern buildings stuck out like sore thumbs was so different than what I’m used to back home. In the states old is a few hundred years. In Prague the “new bridge” (as described by our tour guide) dates to the 1300’s. The weight of history there is much greater than it is in the States and there is so much to learn and to see just in the facades of the buildings.
- The quiet – this sounds kind of odd, but Czechs in general are very quiet, at least in public, and there are strict nighttime quiet laws that reinforce that. It was somewhat surreal to walk through a crowded plaza and hear a tenth, if that, of the noise you would hear in a similarly crowded area here in the states. It became incredibly clear very quickly that the stereotype of the loud American is very true, and especially in Prague it doesn’t take a lot to be “that person.” I’m a quiet person to begin with so this aspect of life in Prague really suited me and sometimes now that I’m home crowds here can be a little overwhelmingly loud in comparison.
- The travel – I didn’t travel as much as many other people I’ve talked to, but I really loved it. Seeing other cities and countries is a truly amazing experience and it’s so easy and affordable to do so in Europe. My trips were well worth the time and I only wish I had been able to travel more.
I could go on. There are so many things I miss about my time abroad and now that I’m home I’m just itching for a chance to go back.