Saturday, June 30, 2012

And the semester comes to an end...

Hello all!

Me, Aunt Nancy, Jennifer, Uncle Alan, and Roger
I thought I would just give you one last, quick update from Linz. I did not update you all on one trip I took about 3 weeks ago; Switzerland. I was there for about 5 days, and got to meet and visit with some family who lived there. I was able to visit Lausanne, Geneva, and Z├╝rich in that short time. It was a really relaxed and easy-going visit that involved cooking, watching the French Open, and the start of the Euro Cup.

Me and Charlie
Additionally, I got to tour the United Nations, check out the city of Lausanne from the top of their cathedral, and taste traditional swiss fondue. I apologize for not giving you all a more comprehensive recap of the trip, but I figured there wouldn't be too much interest the the vegetarian shepherds pie that I cooked while there or the naps I took. I enjoyed my week there, but that doesn't mean that everyone cares to read about it. I think the part I liked the most about the trip is that I got to have family time for the first time in four months. It helped prompt eagerness to get back home (which, by the way, happens in 16 days).
A sailboat on lake Geneva

Me and Jovan at the entry to JKU

As I mentioned above, this will be my last update from Linz. I will be checking out from my student dorm here in about an hour, and then heading on to the train station to begin my post semester travels. I will be visiting 1) Berlin, Germany, 2) Gdynia, Poland, 3) Hamburg, Germany, 4) Dublin & Belfast, Ireland, 5) Woodstock, England, and finally 6)Munich, Germany.
Tori, Tara, and Jovan

     When all is said and done, I will have traveled to 12 countries this semester.... I am kind of astounded with myself and the fact that I was able to go so many places. I will come back dirt poor, but so rich in experiences and memories. Really, you just can't place a monetary value on the effect this semester has had on me.  I will truly miss so many people, and I hope we can meet again somewhere in the world one day.
Matteo and myself.

Dinner with my mentor group (+ a few)
       My last week here has been more than incredible: lighting lanterns and sending them off into the night sky, a dinner with my mentor group, stargazing, playing on playgrounds, making up new games (ask me about "Limeball" in two weeks...) buying pizza just because it is from a vending machine and that is cool, times at the lake, etc. Really, the only things I disliked about this week were the fact that I had class every day, had two finals, and I especially disliked the fact that I have had to say goodbye to so many people. Some I know I will never see again, but there are so many where I truly hope we reconnect in the future.

All in all, I am incredibly thankful to have had this experience. Thank you so much to everyone who played a part in it; whether you were physically here with me going through it or just a support system before and during this journey I truly appreciate everything you have done.

Here is to two more weeks of traveling!

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