We did it! I survived my first month abroad! It’s been such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience so far. Even after a month, I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much about Europe and traveling, but also about myself. Here are some thoughts and important things I’ve learned from my first month abroad:
Don’t Become Complacent
After a month of being in Prague, I’ve found that it’s easy to fall into a routine and get comfortable: always going to the same cafe you love, taking the same routes every day, continually going back to a yummy restaurant you’ve discovered. It’s okay (and healthy) to have this kind of familiarity in a foreign country, it’s how you begin to feel comfortable. But I also have to remind myself that exploring and stepping outside my comfort zone is an ongoing process. I need to keep trying new restaurants and cafes, walking different ways to school, venturing to new places. Because as nice as it is that I’ve found places I really enjoy, I want to make the most of my time here and really experience as much as I can. My Prague Bucket List really helps with this 🙂
It’s Okay (and Necessary!!) To Take Time For Yourself
Being abroad, of course I want to travel Europe and experience Prague with the amazing friends I’ve made here. But after traveling together every weekend, I’ve found myself craving a few moments of me-time during the week. While abroad, I think it’s healthy and important to take some time for yourself: walk around by yourself, go to museums or new cafes by yourself. It helps me decompress, but I think it also helps me become a more independent person. When you explore alone, you can go into any random art gallery you want or walk down any narrow street you happen to pass. It’s a very freeing feeling. It allows me to literally and figuratively get lost in Prague.
Traveling Every Weekend is Exhausting
Traveling to a new city every weekend really takes a lot out of you. When you only have 3 days in a new city, you make the most of every moment, sometimes sacrificing sleep and real meals. And then back in Prague during the week, there’s class, homework, and exploring to do, so there isn’t much time to recover then either. In the past month, I’ve learned that to travel every weekend and live such an active lifestyle, it’s so important to take care of your body. It’s okay to take a day to catch up on sleep or spend an evening watching Netflix. I won’t lie, taking time to recover this way can make you feel pretty guilty. Being abroad, there’s a lot of pressure to make the most of every moment. But I keep reminding myself that I’m in Prague for 4 months, and I have to take care of myself if I want to keep exploring and traveling. The city will be there tomorrow too.
Take It All In
After living in Prague and developing a routine of sorts, I sometimes forget the mind-blowing fact that I’m in Prague. Since I’m so comfortable now, it’s easy to forget that I’m in the Czech Republic in Europe, an ocean away from everything I’ve ever known (a little dramatic but still kinda true). My favorite way to process and remember this fact is to open
up Google Maps and zoom out from my location. It reminds me where I am in the world; that I’m in Prague. I want to appreciate everything about this city and take it all in. Prague is absolutely miraculous, and I have the unique privilege of living in it for 4 months. I really am just so lucky; I don’t take that for granted.
I also wanted to thank you all for reading and keeping up with my blog so far! It means so much that you’re all following my trip with me. Shoot me a message or comment if you have any blog post requests or other questions about my experience 🙂