Monday, July 29, 2013

The Wrap-Up

Once again another apology in order for the infrequency of my blog posts. Unfortunately, this will be my last about my study abroad trip. My last few days in Vienna were bittersweet. I had a marvelous time living with my Austrian friends yet my ever looming trip plagued our time together. We celebrated our time together, and said our goodbyes. My flight back was long and tedious, but strangely relaxing. I've been at my aunt and uncle's house for the past few days spending time with my family. Now I'm writing this out on the porch lit like the Lumineers Ho Hey music video with my dad snoring on the couch next to me. With sweet sounds of Norah Jones drifting into the night, and my pooch at my side- all feels right. Now down to business.

The first idea I would like to emphasize in this post is the isolations of the two worlds that I have just existed in. For some reason my initial assessment of Vienna was that it really wasn't significantly different from the states. In a lot of ways I think there is a great deal of truth in that. A great deal of people speak English, politically there are very conservative people and liberals, there's unhealthy food, there are self-interested and selfless people, and life is comfortable. But now coming from that world to this, it all feels so strange. I haven't been noticing the similarities, but rather the differences. No one sounds significantly different in accent, no kebab, the buildings aren't as magnificent, usual tasks aren't complicated with the task of translation, and life is strange. I guess my reference point has  changed. I went into the experience looking for the similarities and left noticing the differences.

My next reflection is the people that have been supportive of me. These people come is three categories. The first set of people that I'm appreciative of are my friends and family back in the states.   Whether it was someone who chatted with me on Facebook, skyped me late in the evening, or gave me any type of encouragement, it was truly appreciated be definitely needed. The next group of people were family and friends that I spent time with from the states. It was weird for me to see people from the states in Europe. It's totally contextual. I feel that when you get to know someone in a certain context and you find them out of that context it's strange. It was nice to see those people again and gave me a taste of my return. The last group of people that provided me with support are my European friends. Of course companionship has been great on my time abroad. It has been my international friends that helped maintain my sanity. I found that it was easy to go to a new place and disappear, but I've found that situation is not ideal in almost anyway. The time spent out at dinner watching movies, playing games, strolling in the park, cycling through the countryside, or chatting politics was incredible. I've truly been blessed to have met so many incredible people on my travels. To anyone that fits in those categories or has been a part of my life in the last few months I'm truly thankful to you.

A popular question I've been asked is "Would you do it again?" My answer is simple yes. My time abroad has been riddled with reflection and new amazing experiences. I find those are the periods of growth in persons life. I definitely feel like I've grown in a few ways, and I would suggest to anyone considering studying aboard to jump in. Life is full of adventures go out and experience them. As this being my final Vienna post, it would only be fitting to leave you with an Austrian farewell. Tchüss Baba.

God Bless,
Christian Webb

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