Originally posted August 8, 2011.
Well, I’ve been home for a few days now—since about 8 pm on Friday night, to be exact. Thankfully, the jet lag hasn’t hit me badly. I’m so lucky in that way because other family members have been holed up in bed for the past 24 hours.
I have to say, I missed America. I missed talking to people without worrying about the language barrier. I missed being able to read every sign and every billboard. I missed the ridiculous dedication to customer service in restaurants and other businesses. I missed not pushing past crowds of people all the time. I missed my bed, my phone, and my laptop. I wonder how much this feeling with multiply once I’m away from the United States for ten weeks.
It was a great, but exhausting trip. As I predicted, getting along with my parents and sister was much harder this year. Since I’m used to the autonomy and independence of college life, not being able to go where I want or to at least have access to the itinerary was pretty unpleasant. Also as I predicted, this trip had a different feel to it. We witnessed a lot of historical monuments and locations, but they tied to World War II or the Cold War. These places—the Anne Frank house, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, Dachau Concentration Camp, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Prague Jewish Quarter—affected me deeply. Sometimes in a way that made me appreciate life and the current state of world affairs, and sometimes in a way that made me feel completely hopeless and heavy. We also ate a lot more! Maybe I’m exaggerating because we ate a lot of crepes and gelato on our previous European vacation, but I still feel somewhat stuffed with potato dumplings, sauerkraut, strudel, and beer (it was legal for me to drink over there and I’ll be legal in the United States soon enough, too). I’ve already been to Zumba once and I’m going again this afternoon. I need to get back into shape!
Over the next week or so I’ll post more about the details of my trip. I wanted to make at least one post from overseas, but time and Internet access were hard to come by. Until then, I’m so glad to be home.