4 Countries; 7 Cities; 8 days; 1,000 Memories

Every time I slack on these posts my brother sends me a message asking me if I died. No worries there, but if you’ve been wondering where my blogs have been the past 2 weeks, well… I’ve been gone.

Last summer my preparations for Germany included visits with all of my closest friends. On one such night I was at a friend’s home, and over a glass of wine we were discussing (among other things) the next year of our lives. She was finishing her studies in Minnesota and would spend her last semester abroad in Rome. I was moving to Germany. We briefly mentioned meeting up in Europe somewhere. Then that turned into a full-blown conversation. Travel in Europe is dreamy but rarely do all the stars line up: it’s expensive to fly across the ocean just to visit for a week plus travel is difficult- it brings out the best and worst in people and cannot be easily done with any random person. It’s expensive. Rarely would you find yourself already across the ocean with a best friend, and even rarer that you would both want to backpack across a few countries or even be free to do so.

The stars lined up for me this year, and at the time I was merely excited. Now I am eternally grateful for the blessing that that timing was in my life. This past week saw the realization of our weeks of planning, and I am going to attempt to relate the stories of my travels through several different countries with one of my best friends. Hopefully you find it interesting. Very quickly we realized how impossible it would be to relate this experience to anyone back home, regardless of how much we wanted to. There is just so much that you see, experience, realize, learn, and think that what I want to convey to you is more a personal experience than a story, yet I can only tell the latter. I would rather tell you to just go travel yourself. Haha! However I give you my best efforts at sharing my adventures.

Risa flew to Bad Reichenhall first and I was able to show her around the village where I live. I think she enjoyed it- but it was good for me to be able to show a friend all the things I see, and for her to meet the family I live with. In a way it made my experience less surreal: not only do I live in a surreal location but I am so far removed from everyone I know that my life here seems unreal since no one knows what I see. She walked the girls to school with me, I took her to the bakeries I go to daily and the department store where I shop. I showed her the view from the top of the mountain and I went for the first time to a bar in town. Being a 23 year old girl straight out of college, in a town with a lively night life, it’s been so hard for me not to have been out yet! But when the kids are in bed by 8pm and… you have no friends… you stay inside every night. Don’t think I’m complaining or have a pathetic life haha! It’s just an activity I haven’t indulged in and having a friend here was extremely life giving- both for getting out and for sharing life together. (quick promo: Risa is a fantastic photographer so you should check out her work on Tumbler or Facebook where she’s posted some gorgeous pictures of my little town here:)

Anyways. Thursday morning we woke up early, dropped the littlest girl off at pre-school and walked to the bus. We were off to Salzburg.

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