I arrived back in the US last Sunday. Ah, home, sweet home! I had an amazing time in Europe, but I was definitely ready to go home by Sunday. Living out of a suitcase and not being in any one place for longer than two days is not easy. On one hand, I was sad to leave the group of people I had gotten to be friends with on this crazy adventure, but on the other hand, I was looking forward to seeing friends and family at home. Other things I had been missing included my bed, my shower, a stable and inexpensive Internet connection, being able to charge more than one device at a time, being able to do laundry, and the mild climes of the Pacific Northwest!
If I had to sum this trip up in once sentence, I would say that this was a whirlwind vacation in which I saw many amazing sights and met many interesting people from all around the world! Below are some things I learned along the way, in no particular order.
1) Sometimes it’s better to pay for a toilet than to use a free one. Just trust me on this one. . .
2) The strudel in Austria is nothing short of life-affirming, as are the waffles and chocolates in Belgium.
3) In some places in Europe, it is actually cheaper to drink beer or wine than it is to drink bottled water.
4) Keep an open mind because a place you might not expect to enjoy very much may end up being one of your favorites (Hello, Switzerland!), and a place you think you will love may end up disappointing you (Sorry, Venice!).
5) There is nothing wrong with having a lazy vacation day, especially if in the French Riviera.
6) Europe is a wonderful place full of great history and culture, but at the end of the day, you realize how lucky you are to come from the best country on earth – USA!