Hey all - I'm stoked to introduce a new feature on this ol' blog of mine. For those of you who haven't been around since last year (everyone but my mom...hi mom...), I went to Europe last fall! It was a super mega awesome adventure that I took with my rugged backpack Henry and you can catch all my blog posts about it here. Anyway, I've been thinking that I want to hear about other blogger's study abroads/extended vacations/travel adventures, so I started Friends of Henry - where a fantastical person gets to tell you all about their experiences. First up, we have my REAL LIFE FRIEND Annie chatting about her study abroad - that she took with me! Go on, Annie...
Who was the most interesting person you met?
Definitely Dojna Krecu, she was the head of our OSA staff and she is the sassiest lady of all time with a surprisingly colorful past and a lot of extremely questionable wisdom she liked to dole out at the bar and around campus. My favorite quote of hers was "if you enjoy life, never have daughter."
The best thing you ate?
I enjoyed eating so many different things in Europe; my taste buds have never experienced such a journey. The vegetable lasagna I found in this tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Bruges was a real highlight - we found it on the recommendation of a hostel worker and it was essentially a woman's kitchen with 3 tables in it. I don't think I had eaten a real hot dinner in weeks so my perception may be skewed, but I remember it being in the top 3 dinners of my entire life, stupidly delicious. I was pulling a Guy Fieri and yelling about it being out of bounds.
The best risk that paid off?
Probably when you said, "Do you want to go to Cinque?" And I said, "What is that?" and you promised me it would be amazing, AND IT WAS SO AMAZING. Astute readers of yours may remember that that trip came with some difficulties, but watching the sunset with my best bud over the Mediterranean on a bench made out of a cliff face with focaccia in one hand and Nutella gelato in the other was among the top highlights of my life. (nostalgic sobbing)
The biggest instance of culture shock?
I think the biggest moments of culture shock come in things that are just like what you're used to back home, but ever-so-slightly off-kilter. Examples include the giant bonfire randomly started in the middle of a Dutch amusement park, the celebratory trumpet sound the RyanAir flights play when you touch down, or the entire tradition of Sinterklaas around Christmastime in the Netherlands (admittedly, that one is more than a little off-kilter).
The most out-of-body, this-is-incredible, my-whole-life-is-awesome moment?
After a kind of rough day in Paris (that is the brattiest sentence I have ever written), a couple of my travel mates and I were wandering around, lost, when a kindly French lady pointed us toward the Sacre Coeur. After we walked to the top of the hill, we were met with the most stunning panoramic view of the city, and we watched the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the distance, and I remember plainly thinking: this is what I was dreaming of when I found out I was coming to Europe.
Thanks Annie, you're such a doll! You can find her lovely blog right here
If you're interested in being a Friend of Henry, feel free to drop me a line: sometimesztakespictures AT gmail DOT com.
Labels: annie, friends of henry, travel