Final Farewell

Leaving Prague was the happiest and saddest thing I’ve ever done. The true definition of bittersweet. While the thought of returning home to my friends and family was wonderful, I kept thinking about all that I was leaving behind. In the last three months I visited Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, England, Hungary, and Austria, and I left a piece of my heart in each of these places. It feels like I’m leaving behind a huge part of me. But I know it’s important that I return. I need to make sure that I make traveling a priority in my life, because it brings me so much happiness. When I first got to Prague, the adjustment was hard and I missed my loved ones all the time. But home will always be there. I am grateful that I had to opportunity to live and study in such a wonderful city. I’ve met some of my best friends and I have traveled a small portion of the world with them. These experience will stay with me forever. On my way to the airport I kept questioning if it was worth it going somewhere, if it hurt so much to leave. When I stopped crying and became rational, the obvious answer is yes, it is worth. I don’t exactly have the words to sum up how I feel, so I’ll end with a quote about how it feels to leave study abroad;

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for knowing and loving people in more than one place”

End of the day, it’s worth it!

Thank you Umass Lowell, thank you everyone who allowed me to experience this. It’s been truly wonderful.


Over here I actually keep up with my calendar that’s on my laptop and I constantly update it. This week is the first time that I’m actually able to see my departure from Prague (December 18) and my return to the US. I just finished my midterms and so I’ve been somewhat distracted from the fact that I don’t have a lot of time left. As I approach the end of my time here, I’ve been reflecting back on my first few weeks here. It took me a long time to adjust to life here in Prague. The time difference, the language barriers, being away from my family, everything. I didn’t expect to have a hard time transitioning but it took me about 3 weeks to finally be comfortable here. But those first 3 weeks were rough. I was constantly homesick and I had a hard time dealing with mornings here because everyone was asleep in America and I sort of felt cut off. I thought about going home a lot, but I knew that wasn’t rational. However, looking back I’m so happy I came here and stayed. My time abroad isn’t even over but I’m already such a different person than I was before I got here. There are some days when I ache for my family and friends back home, but they’ll always be there. It helps to remind myself that this world is huge and there’s a chance that once I leave Prague, I’ll never come back again, so I need to appreciate this beautiful city while I’m here. So if you’re questioning if you should go abroad because you are nervous or afraid of being away, I say just go for it. You really won’t regret it. Take advantage of these amazing opportunities while you can.

I leave for Italy tomorrow so I will post pictures and tell you all how it goes! We land in Rome and then on Saturday we go to Florence for the day then we go to Venice for a few days and then we fly back to Prague Monday.. So excited!


So I spent my halloweekend in Prague. My friend who is studying in Mannheim, Germany came to visit me here. In America I’m used to halloween being a big celebration where people dress up all weekend. On Friday I was a pirate, on Saturday I was a thief, and on Sunday I was a vampire. However, I found out Friday that people don’t really dress up here. My friends and I went to this bar called Po pos all dressed up and we were the only ones in costume. Honestly, I was still happy we dressed up. I love halloween. Anyways, sine it was my friend’s first time in Prague, on Saturday I showed her around. We found these giant baby statues that are soooo weird but they were fascinating so we got some good pictures with them. I’m not sure why they were there or what they represented, but I’ll look it up eventually. They have them in two different locations in Prague. In Prague there’s this giant T.V tower and for some reason the architect added these giant babies to the T.V pole so it looks like they’re climbing up it! It’s so strange but I love it. I’ll post some pictures of them. Anyways, we also figured out that the bridge next to the Charles Bridge is the best place to actually see the Charles Bridge and get some good pictures of it. The actual Charles Bridge is extremely crowded and also pick-pocket central. One of my abroad fears was getting pick pocketed, and thus far I have not been, knock on wood. But yes if you happen to be in Prague and want a really good view of the Charles, definitely try the bridge next to it rather than the actual bridge. Overall, I had a really great halloween weekend, it was definitely interesting to see what it’s like to experience a different culture’s version of halloween, which doesn’t really include dressing up. Oh well, you live and you learn.14961330_10208644437642001_1699839198_n14570468_10205849468275582_933137283185366135_n14591863_10205849466835546_754943423124341116_n

Krakow, Poland

Last weekend definitely took the spot for my favorite weekend abroad so far. We went to Krakow, Poland. Getting there sucked because we took a three hour train then had a four hour lay over in a little Czech town and then took a two hour bus and finally ended up in Krakow around 10pm. There were four of us so we decided to stay in a hostel, which turned out to be in a perfect location right near the city square. First of all, I didn’t know much about the city of Krakow and I definitely didn’t expect it to be as beautiful as it is. We went during the day and saw the castle and went to Schindler’s factory museum and walked around and it was a beautiful day. I really enjoyed the city. Also, the night life was a lot of fun and everything was really close to our hostel so we didn’t have to take ubers or taxis anywhere. The reception person at our hostel told us really cool and cheap spots to get food and drinks so the weekend wasn’t that costly either.

However, the main reason we decided to go to Krakow was to visit Auschwitz, the notorious concentration camp. We went here Saturday morning, we took an hour bus ride from our hostel and started at the extermination camp first. It is worse than I imagined it. The barbed wire fences go on for miles and there are rows and rows of gas chamber ruins. The barracks where the prisoners slept were just pieces of wood stacked together. In the back there’s the crematorium, where the Nazis would burn the deceased bodies. Now there’s a tombstone there for all the people who lost their lives. 1.5 million people were murdered at Auschwitz alone. We also headed to Auschwitz I, which has been turned into museums. You walk through the buildings and you see different stories about the people who were imprisoned. It was heart breaking. To see where they lived and how they were treated was truly an overwhelmingly sad experience, but I’m glad I saw it.

Weekend in Prague

So for the first time since I came here, my roommates and I decided to stay in Prague for the weekend instead of traveling to other places. Since we are here for this whole semester, we haven’t really put any time aside to go and do all the tourist activities in Prague yet. So we spent the weekend in Prague. Some things to see here are the Charles Bridge, the Lennon Wall, the Prague Castle, and the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square. In all honesty, it was a really nice and relaxing weekend. Long bus rides and plane rides are really exhausting and so it was nice to have a little break and not have to pack up for a weekend. The bridge was probably my favorite part of the weekend. My roommates and I went at night and so the entire city was lit up. I can’t really describe how beautiful it was, I wish I could though. I’ll post some pictures but they don’t truly capture it… It’s just insane that I’ve read about the Charles Bridge and the history of Prague and all this stuff but I never thought I’d actually be living here. Sometimes I take it for granted that I live here temporarily, but other times it hits me all at once and I’m so grateful. I really hope you all get the chance to come here someday. Prague is such a magnificent city and it’s really starting to feel like home. I don’t know how I’m going to leave this place in December. img_6183 img_6119 img_6126


Hey everyone!

This past weekend was awesome. I went to Oktoberfest in Munich with my friend Alisa from back home (she’s studying abroad in Mannheim). For those of you who don’t know, Oktoberfest is basically this giant beer festival in Germany. Everyone wears traditional lederhosen outfits and drindls and drinks over-priced, extra-large beers. We stayed with a legitimate German family of 4. It was honestly such an interesting experience, it kind of felt like living in a home-stay with a host family. Like we would wake up and the kid would literally be playing with legos in the room next to us. Only the father spoke english though, so he was the only one we could verbally communicate with. But it was definitely a good way to get to know a little about the way of living in Munich.

Anyways, so Saturday we woke up around 9ish and got ready for Oktoberfest. To find it all we had to do was follow the crowds of people dressed in lederhosen outfits. The whole area was filled with rides and tents, it looked like an amusement park. There are many beer tents but we went to one that most people recommended to us. When you first walk in, it’s so overwhelming and hectic. It was so crowded and there was at least 10 people on the tables and it was just insane. So once we got in, we immediately went to order a beer. Each beer is like 10 EUR but you can’t go to Oktoberfest and not get one. It was so weird because you see people that you recognize. I saw someone from my old school and I also saw people from my program that I had no idea were going to be there, and everyone sort of links up even if you barely know each other. Honestly, there are people that are able to go early in the morning and last all day, however I am not one of those people. We ended up leaving around 6ish. However, it was honestly an amazing day. If you are ever abroad in the fall, I definitely recommend making your way to Oktoberfest, it was certainly an unforgettable experience.

The next day when I went to leave, I realized I booked the wrong bus ticket. Instead of a ticket from Munich back to Prague, I booked a ticket for Prague to Munich. Since it was Sunday, the ticket booths were all closed so naturally, I started to panic. I don’t have an international cell phone plan so I couldn’t even buy a ticket online. So I was pretty desperate. I decided to try my luck at the bus station and see if I could just get on a bus heading to Prague. So I went to the departure place and handed my ticket to a bus going to Prague and the bus driver didn’t even question me, I don’t think he noticed that the ticket was for Prague to Munich. So I just sat in a random seat and hoped for the best. Surprisingly, it all turned out okay. I made it back to Prague and made a few friends on the  bus along the way. In all honesty, I was really lucky. So just a tip; when you buy a bus/plane ticket, always always always double check them! Learn from my mistakes!

Although my departure was really stressful, Oktoberfest was 100% worth it! It was an awesome experience and such a fun weekend. Munich is beautiful and the ride there was scenic as well. If you have the chance to make it to Oktoberfest at some point in your life, go for it! You won’t regret it.


So I’m going on week three of my time here in Prague. I spent this past weekend in Budapest, Hungary. My roommate and I departed by train on Thursday after her class. What was supposed to be a seven hour train ride turned into an eight hour train ride due to construction on the tracks……… By the time we got to Budapest it was around 12AM. We entered the Budapest train station and weren’t quite sure what to do, so we figured we should take out hungarian currency at the ATM and call an Uber. However, in order to call an Uber we needed wifi so after the ATM we began the too-familiar hunt for wifi. While we were successful with our hunt, neither of our Uber apps were working so we had to take a taxi to our Air BnB which is usually the best ways to get ripped off in a foreign country since taxis often over charge. Which is exactly what happened. Anyway, we finally made it to our Air BnB and waited for our friend Meg who flew in from Madrid. Once we were all safe in our Air BnB we got some rest after a long day of traveling.

The next day we woke up around 10AM and got breakfast at this cool place that was really close to where we were staying. Since we were only going to be there for 2 full days (Friday and Saturday) we decided that Friday would be our sight seeing day and we would spend Saturday at the famous thermal baths in Budapest. So once we finished breakfast we walked across the Chain Bridge which is a really beautiful famous bridge in Budapest. From the bridge we could literally see all the worthy tourist attractions in Budapest. From Budapest’s majestic castle, to Fisherman’s Bastion, to the mighty parliament building, it was all there. We of course had to see them up close, but the bridge provided a nice preview.

So eventually we stopped taking pictures and made it across the bridge. In order to get up to Buda castle we took this cool trolley thing call the Castle Hill Funicular. Apparently it’s part of the true Budapest experience. Anyways, after making it up the hill and then taking a bunch more pictures, we decided to explore the castle grounds. It was so amazing. I honestly felt like I was in Game of Thrones, laying siege to the Buda castle. I’ll post some pictures so you all can see what I mean. Right next to Buda castle is Fisherman’s Bastion. However we didn’t realize this until we had already come back down the Funicular and crossed the bridge. But we weren’t giving up, so we turned back around and headed towards Castle Hill once again. It was approaching sunset which at first worried me because I didn’t want to walk back to the Air BnB in the dark. In hindsight, I now know that this is the absolute best time to go. I thought the views from Buda castle were amazing, but the castle had nothing on Fisherman’s Bastion at sunset. I was seriously in awe… I’ll post the pictures but honestly not even the greatest camera in the whole world could capture the colors of the sky that day. I’m getting nostalgic writing about it…. And the actual bastion structure was beautiful it looked kind of like a huge intricate sand castle, or at least I thought so. I wish you all could have been there to see it. After saying our silent goodbyes, we made the trek yet again across the Chain Bridge and found our way back to our Air BnB after a wonderful day.

The next day I woke up and I was kind of homesick because I always wake up way too early- before all my friends in Europe do and even back in America everyone is asleep thanks to the 6 hour time difference so I always get anxious when I wake up early. However, this was a good morning because Ashley (my roommate) and Meg woke up shortly after I did. After eating, we headed to the House of Terror. It sounds scary and dreadful because it was. It’s this museum that demonstrates periods of fascism and communism in Hungary. It also serves as a memorial for those who fell victim to these horrific regimes. So we went through the whole museum which takes about 2 hours. It was really emotional and overwhelming. However, I’m definitely glad I saw all of it. I never really learned much in depth about other country’s perspectives during WW2 and the Cold War, but this definitely gave me an insight to how terrible it was.

After leaving the museum, we headed for Budapest’s famous thermal baths. It was interesting but also confusing. I don’t really know exactly how to describe it but it was like a huge jacuzzi… I didn’t take pictures because I’m pretty sure photography is prohibited, but I wouldn’t want to look like a creep anyway. If you want, you can just google thermal baths and you’ll see. But yeah, so I mean it was pretty relaxing and we went into the sauna and whatever. The tickets were for 3 hours but honestly after like an hour and a half I was just thinking “sooo now what…”. I’m not really one to just sit around when I’m in a foreign country and I kinda just wanted to explore Budapest a bit more. So after the thermal baths we went by the parliament building which was crazy impressive.. It looked like some medieval castle or something. We also checked out St Stephen’s Basilica. Then we went to dinner at Comme Chez Soi… IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I got the “Spagetti Napoleta” and it was so delicious ugh I’m hungry just thinking about it. Honestly one of my favorite meals that I’ve had abroad. Granted I’ve only been here for two weeks. Also- Budapest is like Prague when it comes to pricing- everything is SO cheap. I can order a 5-star meal with a glass of wine and it’ll come out to about $13 USD. It’s pretty awesome since I’m a college student with a tight budget. After this wonderful meal, we walked back to our apartment and fell asleep.

We began our journey back to Prague around 1pm. The train was actually on time so we got back around 8ish. I basically just looked out the window and listened to Drake’s album “Views” the whole ride back so it wasn’t too bad.

Budapest was amazing my only regret is that we never made it to the ruin bars which I heard AMAZING things about… Guess I’ll just have to go back someday…

Again, I will post pictures to follow. Also I will tell you more about Prague it’s just that Budapest was my most recent adventure so I had to write about it.


Thanks for reading everyone!

Fisherman's Bastion