As I reach my final week in Prague, it’s incredibly saddening to realize I am going home soon. I have become very attached to Prague and I only leave with the regret that I don’t have more time to spend in this city that has really felt like home for four months. I'm returning to California with more confidence, skills, and maturity, and I am excited to bring these improved aspects of myself into my “normal” life.
Living in Prague taught me a lot about not only who I am, but what I want and what I enjoy out of life. This was my first time really feeling on my own and like an adult, as well as my first time even living in an apartment. Living on your own in a foreign country and constantly traveling really forces you to deal with so many situations on a spectrum that ranges from very stressful to the most wonderful experiences.
Dealing with situations that are anxiety-inducing – like figuring out public transportation, restaurants, and grocery stores, or just being lost somewhere you don’t know – forces you to confront failure and learn from it, as well as develop resourcefulness and problem-solving skills. Plus, successfully navigating your way out of a difficult situation bolsters your confidence in dealing with future conflicts.
I also grew a lot from my many positive experiences. My time abroad taught me to seize the day and to keep a spirit of adventure. I will never forget the adventures I had backpacking around incredible countries. Riding ATVs in the Moroccan desert, floating under the largest waterfall in Africa, walking through the Athens Acropolis, watching the sunset in Santorini, getting lost in the Louvre, seeing history up close in Versailles, exploring Venice by boat, standing on the Cliffs of Moher, and exploring “dragon caves” in Krakow only encompass a handful of the unforgettable adventures that showed me what it’s like to feel so in awe and humbled by a beautiful place, experience, and moment in time.
No matter how much I traveled, though, I always found myself missing Prague. My time studying abroad in Prague introduced me to amazing people and friends. Studying here changed me the most through my newfound willingness and excitement in trying new things and putting myself out there to get to know many interesting people. I’ve come to learn so much about Prague, whether it was navigating the city or learning its unique history, and everything I’ve learned has only made me love it more. I will immensely miss living by my favorite park, my walk to school, my friends, the incredible food, and the memories I have made all over this city. I am incredibly grateful to have had this experience, and I believe it has made me all the more ready to embrace the unknown and pursue my future desires with confidence.
Whitney Knorp is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic, and is currently studying at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.