Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A 2 week taste of Europe

Lets see, since my last post, the most exciting thing would be spending 2 weeks traveling around Europe and getting a taste of what it will be like living there for 6 months.

A quick summary of International Plant Trek - INCREDIBLE! I did pre-trek activities with 5 other LFMs and we had a blast doing the sight-seeing thing and taste testing all of the fantastic European beers.  I'd post a lot of details, but as luck has it, Drew was traveling with me and his blog is already updated and fantastic. So, read that for details. And, here are some highlights from my perspective:

  • Beer is so much more tasty! I never used to be a huge beer drinker, but grad school changed that. And, I anticipate, living in Europe for 6 months will sway me even further towards being a true beer drinker.

  • Food is tasty! I absolutely love food - my favorite part about the trip was our groups willingness to read a menu and just walk in on a whim if it sounded good. We had some VERY good local food and funny experiences as a result.

  • Being 1/2 polish, it was absolutely incredible to see and learn about a country where my family has a lot of history. I don't strongly associate to my Polish roots for a few reasons, but there was something oddly overwhelming when I first stepped foot in the country and got to witness all of the amazing aspects of it.

  • It's eye opening to travel some place where you do not speak the language. We had very few problems since most people speak English, but you still realize how much you take for granted when you know the language.

  • As much as i hate to admit it, I am a naive American. I know very little about European history and current government. It actually makes me sad, and I've made a personal vow to learn a lot more about it in prep for my internship and just because it's good to be aware of what's going on in the world.

  • Corporate culture is SO different. Again, it was a great way to get some exposure before beginning my job in June...

  • And, finally... I LOVE TRAVELING! I can't put into words how excited I was every day we went out to explore a new city. It might sound silly, but it was like a constant high. I actually like the uncertainty and unfamiliarity and the discovery.

If you didn't get the drift, the trip was great. I think there's only thing that would have made the trip better... SUN!!! But, really, it was everything I expected. And, I think one of the best parts was the people I traveled with.