Indiana University Overseas Study

Prague-Nosis

schwartz_lauren

My favorite quote by Mark Twain is one that I believe to align quite literally with my outlook on life. He says:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Although I would never have admitted this when we read  “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in 7th grade, I love to read. I also absolutely love to take risks and go on new adventures like the characters in Twain’s books, which is why I have chosen to travel abroad next semester.

You might be thinking, why Prague? Well, the answer is simple: I have always had a passion for doing the unexpected rather than blindly following a herd of sheep. This, along with my love for Eastern European history, and a Central-European location allowing for travel, are some of the many reasons I chose this small, frozen city in the Czech Republic as my home for the next 4 months.

For those of you that don’t know me well, it is important that you understand my passion for traveling, and my dream to travel the entire world in this adventure I call my life. Yes, I know this sounds cheesy, and a tad unrealistic, but experiencing new cultures outside of my own, whether I am reading a book, the news, watching a movie, or in this case actually traveling there, makes my heart dance with delight.

As I begin my final preparations to leave for Prague, I am starting to feel the anxieties creep up and my insecurities of assimilating into this completely new world in central Europe. Previously I have traveled abroad to Israel with students my age, and on other trips around North America with my family, but I have never traveled this far and for this long. Although this makes me fairly uneasy, I find the idea of a complete culture shock an exhilarating adventure. I believe immersing myself in unfamiliar territories will change me in such a positive way and open my eyes to new perspectives while I have the time of my life in the process.

The characters in Mark Twain’s books inspire me to have a love for learning and exploring, which is why I have such a passion for traveling the world. I hope that in my experience, I am able to give back to my readers in the process.  I will be satisfied if I can feel that I have made a difference in the opinions and worldviews of other people, which is what I hope to establish in writing this blog. Keep me company throughout my adventures in Europe this spring, and I promise you will not be disappointed.

 View all posts by Lauren

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