The first time I ever heard of Prague and the Czech Republic, I was much younger and my knowledge was beyond limited. If you had asked me to point to it on a map, I would’ve shrugged and gone back to watching “House Hunters.”
Even in undergrad, as I heard more and more people studying abroad in this mystical city, my grasp was still vague at best.
Four years later, I made it here, and to be honest, I’m still not sure how.
The Czech Republic, and Prague in particular, has exceeded my expectations. Everyday I’m here, I’m in awe of this beautiful area. I love it more and more everyday.
I don’t want to leave, but my flight takes off in a few days and they’re not great about refunds… so…
I’ve been trying to get to Italy since high school. I actually started studying Italian early on as an undergrad to expedite the process. This was also around the time that I learned that, despite my best efforts, I’ll never be able to roll my r’s like the Italians do. Making my attempts at the language atrocious at best.
Anyways, when I finalized the plans to study in Prague, there was only one place I wanted to spend Thanksgiving week/my 23rd birthday.
Italy, you made for the best week ever.
Fun fact: Budapest was rated #18 by the Telegraph in Best Places to Live, and #1 in my heart.
Much like my exposure to Copenhagen, learning about Budapest started in… 3rd grade? I think? My memory is way hazier on this one. I remember we read a book about WWII, but I couldn’t tell you the name. Plot wise, I recall a girl realizing the war had led to starving zoo animals, and deciding to feed the animals with straw rugs and hats, and got other people to donate them too. That’s about all I got. If any of this rings a bell, please let me know. It’s kind of starting to bug me.
Nonetheless, it was a beautiful weekend in the city. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky the entire time we were there, just blue skies and sunshine.
I was in 4th grade when I knew I wanted to go to Copenhagen.
We were reading Number the Stars, which takes place in that very city. As a result, we spent the better part of a few months learning about Denmark, Danish culture and the language. I can still count to ten in Danish. Ask me sometime.
So a weekend in Copenhagen was the stuff of dreams. I was way too excited about it. Over ten years later, I'd see the city I had read and heard so much about. I even reread Number the Stars beforehand. Still as incredible as I remembered. Please give it a read if you get the chance.
I'd like to say the trip went off without a hitch, but I'm not a great liar, so use this post as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Let's go!
This latest post is around 1,000 years late because did you know MacBook trackpads can malfunction? I sure didn't. Now I know.
Fixing my spazzed out laptop involved finding an authorized Mac repair shop, dragging myself over there, and saying farewell to the darn thing for two weeks. I'll never take it for granted again. Probably.
This mishap was one in a series of mishaps because that's just what happens when you travel. I've been to three different countries in the last two weeks. If something didn't go wrong, I'd be amazed.
So let's get rolling! This post will be longer than usual, so grab a snack and try not to hate me as I attempt to recount the last 14ish days.
I spent a day in Kutná Hora and would now love nothing more than to retire there.
I can practically see the episode of "House Hunters International" now.
"Maggie Stanton is a retired public relations practitioner looking to settle down from the hustle and bustle of the last 40 years. And Kutná Hora, about an hour from Prague, is where she wants to be. Can her realtor find her the charming A frame of her dreams? Or will she get carried away by her bizarre desire to have an outdoor pool even though almost every day is winter here?
It practically writes itself.
Realistically, if you can, I'd recommend at least a few hours in Kutná Hora. It's peaceful, stunning, and delightful. It reminded me of my trip to Giverny when I was in Paris.
If you ever really want to get to know a country foreign to you, take the bull by the horns and catch an illness.
I'm kidding, don't actually do that.
Nonetheless, during my first week in Prague, I got hit with what I think might be best categorized as "traveler's flu." Was it an actual flu? Who knows. I sure don't. WebMD can only tell you so much.
I've never left the continent in my life. So when the opportunity arose for me to travel, it might have been wise to get my feet wet in some small country with a reasonable population.
Instead I went to the most visited city in the world. Because I never learn.
I went to Paris. And it was overwhelming and magical and exhausting and I already want to go back.
So if you're planning a trip to the City of Lights, or are just curious why someone with a fear of airplanes and large crowds chose motherfreaking Paris, stay tuned! I'll break it all down.
One of my favorite movies in the world is "Up." I could watch that movie hundreds of times and never grow tired of it.
My favorite character is all of them, but I guess if I had to pick, Ellie would be a top contender. Right from the start, we quickly learn Ellie's goal.
Ellie's childhood dream is to move to a cliff in South America overlooking Paradise Falls. I mean, why not, right? I love that attitude toward the great unknown, wanting to explore a place you've never been to before.
So maybe it's time I started following in Ellie's lead.
about the author
Great hair, average personality.