[Maleah is currently attending HUF]
I would like to address a few cities that have changed my life within the course of a week.
Munich. You were very good to me. My preconceptions of Germany were a little rough around the edges before I met you, but you showed me that this is the most incredible country I could have ever chosen to spend time with. The Neuschwanstein castle is truly like walking through my favorite childhood fairytale. The evening presented us with delicious food and a walk around the city center. The next morning in Dachau was much more somber and reflective of mankind. Thank you for allowing me to explore worlds I can hardly imagine.
Prague. You were my favorite. You are like the whimsical old-fashioned city I’ve always imagined in another world. You’ve got quite a history, and I was thankful for the cute tour guide who told us some quirky stories and hidden gems about you. I walked about twelve miles to explore how cool you were, from the Charles Bridge to the castle to the Lennon Wall and back again. I hate physical activity, but I would do it again if it meant I got to go back.
Berlin. You were not what I expected. I knew that you had been destroyed and rebuilt over the past several decades, but never had I dreamed you would still be so breathtaking. Our hostel was lively with interesting roommates, and those are memories that will remain with me. Your people are so creative and modern. The East Side Gallery held me captive from one end to the other. P.S. Thank you for the cheap Birkenstocks and an English movie theater so we could see Beauty and the Beast.
Amsterdam. You were a real treat. With less than a day to get to know you, I struggled with how to make the most of my time. We walked around exploring the canals and little shops nearby and found your cool new “I *heart* Amsterdam” sign. I woke up early the last morning to explore the Van Gogh museum. I could have spent hours there with one of my favorite artists, but choosing the museum instead of renting a bike created a long yet beautiful walk back to the station.
Europe. You are continually teaching me. I have learned not to treat my study abroad experience as the only time I will ever be able to check things off my bucket list. This only causes stress and disappointment over the things I didn’t do. Instead, I have found that the most rewarding moments are those in which I take a deep breath and embrace the unforgettable experiences I have.
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