Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do, but starting all over in a new place is even harder. My journey starts with traveling from D.C. to Turkey to Prague. I was rushing to say my goodbyes to my friends and family since my plane to Istanbul turkey was leaving in under 30 minutes. I rushed all the way to my Gate number, which was Gate B 32, Turkish Airlines. Luckily, I made just in the nick of time and I took my seat on the plane. Once I finally sat down it hit me that I was going to study abroad, and there would be nobody there. I thought to myself “you’re here to have a good time, meet new people, and explore different cultures in Europe”, and that really calmed my anxiety and nerves. The plane ride took eight hours, and then I had a layover in Istanbul for at least 15 hours which was stressful for me because I couldn’t connect to the WIFI right away to talk to my family and friends. Also, the people from my program had already started or were arriving on time so I was going to be a day late to socialize and making new friends in Prague.
While I was at Istanbul, I met this nice lady from Iran, Kathy Ara, who was very helpful when it came from trying to figure what to do in the airport and helping me find the flight information. She and I talked for hours; we talked about the life and political aspects of different countries and traveling to different places. She reminded me of my older sister and it was really refreshing and amazing to kind of get a taste of home through her.
15 hours later, I had boarded the plane to Prague and once again my anxiety was through the roof and I had to tell myself to calm down, that flight was only two hours. I got out of the airport and took an Uber to the ISA office where I met my new advisor and fellow classmates. It was so embarrassing because I came a whole day late and they were in a middle of a meeting. After that, I was introduced to the head coordinator Daniela Neckarova; she helped me with my visa situation and to settle into Prague. At 2 o clock, we took a tour to the Old Town Square where there’s plenty of shops, live street acts, the Old Town tower, the Astronomical Clock, restaurants, and many more fantastic things. The sad thing about it is that the Clock is not there right now. It is getting fixed, so we won’t be able to see the clock for the rest of my stay in the Czech Republic. On the hour, every hour, the Clock strikes and does many tricks; many tourists stop and watch it go into action.
After the tour, one of my advisors, Martin Holub, took me back to the office to get my baggage and send me to my apartment to meet my roommates. I was excited because it was my first time living by myself and it was just exciting for me to meet new people from different places. One of my roommates is from Baltimore, Maryland just like me so I was really stoked to meet her and talk about living in Baltimore; her name is Erin. The other two are from Colorado, and they knew each other from high school; their names are Bridgette and Abbie. All of my roommates are pretty nice and very chill although they are very different, they have the same goals and aspirations as me.
See you next week!