Hej hej for the last time from Scandinavia :(
A short blurb about my experiences since my last entry. I will keep them to a few sentences because I have a flight to catch early in the morning and 18 hours of travel ahead of me. Berlin was wonderful! I wish that I had much more time there. There is so much modern history there, so many wonderful Christmas markets, and great sights! I'm looking forward to returning to the German capital and hopefully exploring with the benefit of one of my German friends as a tour guide :) Prague was also a very nice end to our short European tour. As the only more eastern European country on our tour, we had the benefit of a personal tour guide for our experience. A friend of a Tenhult friend studies in the city and was kind enough to show Gary and I around for our two days in the city. We were so tired of planning and mapping out cities by then, it was nice for a sort of local to show us around. I hope I get the opportunity to return the favor to friends or friends of friends visiting the states! We got to see the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, some (again) lovely Christmas markets, and a few of the other great places in Prague. For me, Prague felt the most genuinely old Europe to me...it really had that "different feel". A lot of the other cities that we visited felt different than America, but also had that very modern city vibe. Prague had this to an extent, but oozed that old world look as well.
From these experiences, it was also cool to end up back in Scandinavia again. It's very different from many of the European countries, I think. I feel very at home here, so its a good jumping point to head back to my real home :)
So by the time we arrived in Copenhagen so very late last night, we were so done with all the touring and traveling. To say the least, our Copenhagen touring was almost non-existent. We are both just so exhausted (not complaining, simply stating) that we just didn't have it in us to do the "touristy" Copenhagen seen to the full extent. The cold and cough that have been creeping up on me the last few days have finally made their appearance in full, so I guess its good to relax on the last day before a LONG day of traveling ahead.
May I say though, as a side note [see the Shhhhhhhhhhh title].... I have stayed in a number of different hostels/hotels over the past four months. My one BIG pet peeve/observation from all these experiences---IF you snore like a broken train or a loud truck, do not stay in a dormitory with 7 other people OR provide those 7 other people with ear plugs upon your arrival. Rant over. Otherwise, hostel life is very nice and a great way to meet people while traveling!
Anyway....this time tomorrow, if I have converted my times correctly, I will be on the ground in Chicago and back in the USA for the first time in almost four months [and FINALLY able to turn my American phone back on]. However, I really can't come to terms with this whole idea. As I've reiterated many MANY times, my feelings are so very VERY mixed on this subject matter. I have to say, I'm freaking out a bit about my return to the other side of the ocean. I was talking to some girls I met in the Copenhagen hostel today about abroad experience (they're from the US, studied abroad in France, and are currently teaching English in France) and they warned me of the "reverse culture shock" that I will inevitably experience upon my return to the states. So, I warn all those of you back home of this fact...if I am constantly having fika, saying hej hej or tack, and using the metric system/celsius/24 hour clock, among other things ...don't say you haven't been warned! I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to gain a different perspective on the US and the world through my experience abroad. Its been wonderful to meet so many people from all over the world and I would never trade it! Think it's possible to "study abroad" in my future career? We will see!
Back to reality in t-minus 24 hours... don't know if I'm ready for this! See all you stateside people soon, see ya later Scandinavia. I WILL be back :)